Content Marketing Blog

Google hit with 345 million DMCA Takedown requests

Google, the world’s largest search engine, received more than 345 million DMCA Takedown requests last year, according to new figures.

An analysis of Google’s weekly reports published during 2014 by TorrentFreak, an online news site that specialises in copyright and file-sharing stories, revealed that the number of requests had increased by 75 per cent year-on-year.

DMCA Takedowns fall under US copyright law and are designed to provide content owners with an affordable means of protecting themselves from online piracy.

If content you own has been published without your permission, you may be able to use a DMCA Takedown to force the offending website to remove it.

[pullQuote position=”left”]Takedown requests received by Google increased by 75% in 2014[/pullQuote]

Google is often the target for such requests because of its size, profile and location. It is also the starting point for most new content discovery, which means getting a link removed from Google’s search results is often more of a priority than having the copyright material itself taken down from a website.

The figures should serve as a useful reminder of how important it is to respect copyright when creating content for the web.

Content marketing is a great way to get your brand in front of more of the right people, but failing to use source material fairly can be embarrassing and expensive.

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The sharp rise in the number of requests Google receives to remove links from its search results is evidence of growing awareness among content owners of the need to protect themselves.

In the last month alone, Google received requests to remove 36,711,363 URLs from 4,702 different copyright owners.

The music and film industries have long been at the forefront of the battle against online piracy, lobbying for new legislation and even taking punitive legal action against individuals.

[pullQuote position=”left”]Third party organisations were responsible for almost 30% of takedown requests[/pullQuote]

But copyright infringement is not limited to file sharing websites. The much greater risk for content marketers comes when you’re looking for something to help grab some interest in social media or help you want to create a really engaging blog post. There are often big misconceptions about what can and can’t be used in these situations.

The emergence of third party organisation that handle takedown requests on behalf of content owners means that there is a growing risk of getting caught out, particularly for high profile brands.

According to Google’s most recent copyright takedown update, four of the top five requesting organisations over the past month were law firms or intellectual property specialists acting for clients. Degban and Takedown Piracy LLC alone were responsible for more than 10 million (almost one third) of the URLs Google was asked to remove.