Google released its most recent transparency report on Thursday, December 19. Google has included an extensive section on requests to remove content from search results that contain copyright infringement. The report contains an approximately 1 million row database of copyright infringement claims dating back to 2011.
In just the past month, Google has received 23,235,747 requests for URL removals from 3,705 different copyright owners and 1,910 reporting organizations. A reporting organization is different than a copyright owner in that they “may act on behalf of copyright owners to ask Google to remove search results that link to allegedly infringing content;” however, “[t]hey may or not be the owners of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed,” according to the transparency report’s FAQ.
The copyright owner leading the charge is BPI LTD Member Companies, also known as the British Recorded Music Industry. Since October 4, 2012, the British Recorded Music Industry has requested the removal of 51,578,337 URLs from Google search results. The majority of requested URLs are file sharing websites such as filestube.com and rapidlibrary.com, which have received approximately 4 and 2.5 million removal requests, respectively.
Interestingly, Google has complied with certain company’s requests to remove URLs more than others. For instance, Google has taken no action on approximately 25 percent of Fox’s requests. On the other hand, Google has taken no action on only 585,000 requests of 38,884,548 submitted by RIAA Member Companies which include EMI Music North America, Sony Music Entertainment, and the Universal Music Group. The decision to take action or not is dependent on whether Google analysts have sufficient information about “why the URL is allegedly infringing” and whether the copyrighted material constitutes fair use.
If your work or derivatives of your work are being used to promote the search-ability and revenue of another organization, we can help. Our attorneys have a long history of halting the production and use of copyrighted materials by inconsiderate third parties and recovering the profits that you would have otherwise gained. For more information, contact us. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our intellectual property attorneys, call today at (323) 653-3900.
[Did You Know: In December of 2013, 38,032 domains have been flagged for removal from Google search results.]
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