Google has received more than three billion requests from rightsholders to remove links to copyright-infringing websites from its search engine results.
Since the company began reporting the volume of takedown requests via its Transparency Report, their number has escalated to more than a million per day.
The majority of notices are sent by UK recorded music body BPI, its US equivalent RIAA, and major Hollywood film studios.
PRS for Music members are also able to use the society’s Members Anti-Piracy System (MAPS) to locate unlicensed and infringing content and automatically generate and serve notices to remove content.
Since its launch in 2016, the MAPS tool has located more than five million infringing URLs and removed over 80 percent of reported links. It has also had more than 275,000 live links delisted from Google’s search pages.
According to Torrent Freak, file-hosting service 4shared.com tops the list of most-targeted domains with 66 million URLs, followed by the now-defunct MP3 download site MP3toys.xyz and Rapidgator.net, with 51 and 28 million URLs respectively.
BPI, which is responsible for more than 10 percent of all the takedown requests, told the publication: ‘This three billion figure shows how hard the creative sector has to work to police its content online and how much time and resource this takes.
‘The BPI is the world’s largest remover of illegal music links from Google, one third of which are on behalf of independent record labels.’
Geoff Taylor, the organisation’s chief executive, continued: ‘We now have a voluntary code of practice in place in the UK, facilitated by government, that requires Google and Bing to work together with the BPI and other creator organizations to develop lasting solutions to the problem of illegal sites gaining popularity in search listings.
‘Other intermediaries should follow this lead and take more responsibility to work with creators to reduce the proliferation of illegal links and disrupt the ability of illegal sites to capture consumers and build black market businesses that take money away from creators.’