Copyright holders have demanded Google removes more than 100 million links to suspected infringing webpages in just six months.
The figures, published by the search engine, reveal it has already received double the amount it did last year at around 15 million per month since the turn of the year.
The requests have primarily come from rights holders in the form of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices insisting that the offending material be removed from its search results.
Last year, Google launched a Transparency Report, publishing details of all the weekly and monthly takedown requests it has received. In it, the Silicon Valley-based search engine, claims it complies with more than 90 percent of the requests.
Reacting to the news, Michael Hart, partner at Baker and McKenzie LLP, in London, said the figures showed Google was being “very active” in the war against piracy and should be congratulated.
However, he warned that simply taking down links was only half the battle and that the pirates themselves should be hunted down.
“Until the actual pirates, as opposed to the intermediaries who are not responsible for piracy, are hunted down and slammed with serious penalties and people are better educated on the dangers of piracy the problem is going to be a big one in the digital age,” he said.
Among the organisations to have sent huge numbers of requests include the Recording Industry Association of America and the British Phonographic Industry, which have complained about more than 20 million URL’s each.
The most common sites to be targeted are file-sharing websites.
In the past week, requests have been made to remove a proxy website for the well-known sharing website The Pirate Bay.
Warning that Internet pirates could be “slippery and elusive,” Hart added: “ultimately a focused, strong and coordinated international response which targets the pirates is needed but that is a difficult thing to achieve in the world as it is with lots of different countries which have different legal systems and political agendas and priorities.”
A spokesman for Google acknowledged the report but said it would not comment publicly on it.
To continue reading, you need a subscription to WIPR. Start a subscription to WIPR for £455.
In-house feature articles, the archive and expert comment require a paid subscription. Subscribe now.
Want to give it a try? We are offering a two week free trial to the WIPR website – register and select “Free Trial” to begin access to the full WIPR archive and read the latest news, features and expert comment. Begin your free trial here.
Is your 2 week free trial about to end? Upgrade to a 12 month subscription for £455 now.
If you have already subscribed please login.
If you have any technical issues please email tech support.
Google, copyright, online piracy, Baker & McKenzie,