Google uses several technical interventions to prevent notorious pirate sites from rising to the top of its search results. While these actions have an effect, they couldn’t prevent a resurgence in DMCA takedown notices over the past year. The search engine is now processing an average of 1.6 billion removal requests per year, mostly driven by publishers.
In 2012, Google expanded its transparency report with a new section dedicated to DMCA takedown requests.
For the first time, outsiders were able to see which URLs were being targeted by copyright holders and in what quantity.
The decision to make this information public was in part triggered by a rapid increase in removal requests. The increased activity impacted the “free flow of information”, the search engine argued.
According to Fred von Lohmann, Google’s Senior Copyright Counsel at the time, the volume of DMCA notices was skyrocketing. At times, the company was processing over…