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Google Copyright Actions Skyrocket

 1:24 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)


Remember when Google announced earlier this month that "the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site" will now be part of the algo?

Google also introduced the Google Transparency Report to help notice these changes: [webmasterworld.com...] [google.com...]
Looks like Google is getting far more than they ever bargained for?

The massive wave of DMCA takedowns sent by rightsholders to Google in recent months is growing at an astonishing rate. During the past month the number of takedown requests received by the search giant doubled to almost 1.5 million URLs per week. To put that into perspective, exactly one year ago weekly URL takedowns numbered just 131,577 per week, an increase of 1,137%.
During the week starting August 13, Google received takedown requests for 1,496,220 URLs, up 35% on the record set just two weeks earlier and a huge 1,137% increase over the 131,577 URL takedowns requested August 8 2011.

Google says that during the last four weeks it was asked by 1,825 copyright owners and 1,406 anti-piracy reporting organizations to remove 5,733,402 URLs across 32,545 domains, truly huge numbers which on recent trends look likely to increase.

While Google’s Transparency Report provides a much-valued window into the world of DMCA takedowns, it has also raised awareness among rightsholders. As can be seen from the graph above, takedown requests were fairly steady until May when the report was first published and now the stats have gone through the roof.


Google is receiving over a million requests for result removals a week. The past month has looked like this, in terms of those contacting the company:
1,825 copyright owners
1,406 anti-piracy reporting organizations
5,733,402 URLs
32,545 domains

That's downright insane for a single month, and it could well continue to increase. Google's Transparency Report was published earlier this year, but since its publication, figures have rocketed. Perhaps the groups doing the reporting have gotten wise to the results, so waited until they couldn't be impacted by their requests? [neowin.net...]

Google online content removal tool: [support.google.com...]
Google Transparency Report : [google.com...]

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:14 pm (utc) on Aug 27, 2012]



 2:04 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

They'll probably come up with some kind of faulty algorithm gizmo that'll take care of the massive numbers with the push of a button. Do I sound cynical?


 2:12 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)


Google posing as copyright police while giving their own properties immunity, now that is genuinely cynical.

As far as the giant increase in complaints, I suppose google engineered that as well.

Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.


So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results

hmmm, I suppose rank modifying spammers may be showing some interest here.

[edited by: TypicalSurfer at 2:30 pm (utc) on Aug 26, 2012]


 2:19 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Isn't G+ a knock off of Facebook? hmmmm...maybe G+ is done.


 4:08 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just another example of how massively Google influences online behaviour. I wonder what % are authentic?

Another thing to note is the increase in websites getting DMCAs for linking out, post-Penguin, that has been reported on various forums by directory owners.


 8:51 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

OF COURSE they skyrocketed 1000%, what did they expect would happen when SERP spot #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11 and #12 all repeat content from the same site? Maybe if one site was only appearing once or twice for any given search there would be far less pages to review :)


 2:02 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I reiterate my position that I stated in the original thread about this stupid attempt at appeasing those whom Google hopes to suck up to by making such a change:

"I don't have a problem with DMCAs. I've used them myself against people who have scraped my content. But using them as a ranking factor when the tendency of hosting providers is to takedown the content as the result of almost any DMCA request first... and hope the accused doesn't ask questions later... is very dangerous and VERY open to manipulation. Hello Roboform and other tools... You can definitely automate submission of "valid" DMCA requests. "

My guess... 1000% is NOTHING compared to what it will be once people begin gearing up to automate the process of submitting them.


 3:14 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

that sound you can hear is the rustle of a thousand coders putting together auto-DMCA-submitters. The worst of the spammers will join in, in the not to crazy hope of busting the whole system with a million fake DMCA submissions.

can see google stepping back on this pretty swiftly, if not openly and in public, then certainly behind close doors.


 4:46 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

The chart in that article shows a surge this year that started well before the August 10 announcement of valid DMCA complaints on the ranking algorithm.

That announcement probably IS a factor for the past 17 days, but a truly solid understanding of this jump has got to find other factors at work, too.

[edited by: tedster at 5:30 pm (utc) on Aug 27, 2012]


 7:02 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't it be clever of them if Google's actual endgame was to try and weed out persistent "negative SEO" type spammers by detecting patterns in erroneous DMCA abuse reports? What better way to tune an algorithm than to feed it more - much more - data?


 9:56 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

No wonder why I am receiving false DMCA report against my site. I responded to one that was claiming copyright to my site content, which was written by me in 1999. The complainer's site was online since 2005 where as mine since 2000, they never bother to reply back to me but our hosting company accepted my provided details. (I assume they may have also sent one to google, but I have not heard anything from them)

My query is how to ensure you are not made victim and a scrapper file a complain against you for your own work!?


 11:22 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

The worst of the spammers will join in, in the not to crazy hope of busting the whole system with a million fake DMCA submissions.

Perjury springs to mind.


 1:59 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ya Tedster, I was wondering about the validity and timing of the chart as well. I got a couple of emails suggesting that they skewed the data too far to the start of August. DMCA reports are not posted for awhile after they are received and thus, the dates on them are suspect.

I edited the original post with the original Torrent Freak post. It suggests that Googles own Transparency Tool is part of the cause of the explosion in DMCA action/take down requests.


 2:55 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Perjury springs to mind

Filing a DMCA is done in "good faith". That's a lot of wiggle room for a clever person. On the other hand, responding to a DMCA - even a wrongful DMCA - is done "under penalty of perjury". Defending yourself against a DMCA would appear to be more of a risk - especially if you can't prove that you originated the content.


 3:54 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Filing a DMCA is done in "good faith".
Filing a false DMCA is perjury.

When I fill out a DMCA (and I have done hundreds) I have to include...

"I hereby state that the information in this notice is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that I am the owner, or authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyright or of an exclusive right under the copyright that is allegedly infringed."

Only once did I have someone counter claim an image. He was wrong to do so as he wasn't the artist. He had a number of his own images on photobucket. Just one of his images in his collection wasn't his, it belonged to a client of mine. After proving to PB that it wasn't his, nothing more was heard.


 5:22 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is not about false claims, it is about site owners learning their rights. There is an ocean of stolen content out there. Site owers simply have zero way of controlling all of it, but DMCA actions are one way (in the states atleast) of addressing it. More and more content owners are getting clued in on how that process works.

However, there is still no direct method for addressing the billions of stolen pages setting on foreign servers. For that - we needed the protections that SOPA would have provided, but it was muddled with the "censorship" word and everyone remained ignorant and sided with Sergey Brin on the issue.


 6:15 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is not about false claims, it is about site owners learning their rights.
Originally, no. But became that when someone piped up and said "The worst of the spammers will join in, in the not to crazy hope of busting the whole system with a million fake DMCA submissions."

 6:41 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

How do you know these are fake submissions? Google's announcement provides more incentive to sumbit both types of complaints, fake and true.


 6:56 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

How do you know these are fake submissions?
I give up. <bangs head against wall>

 6:57 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

How do you know these are fake submissions? Google's announcement provides more incentive to sumbit both types of complaints, fake and true.

That's the point of it. It will not be easy for the google people to easily tell which they are dealing with so it will slow the whole process down tremendously. Slowing it down will help breath a bit more life into the made-for-adsense (MFA) sites that rely on other people's content so they can continue to milk the revenue for as long as possible.

This is google's own creation so I'm glad to see they are now facing a nearly insurmountable task of reversing it.


 8:19 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear. These "fake DMCA submissions" would be labelled under "muddying the waters". Fake submissions from fake gmail accounts set up in real cyber cafes or using very real botnets.

Content from site A and copied onto sites B thru Z. DMCA submissions from site G accusing site D, from site N accusing site K, from site W accusing site G, sites H, Y and T accusing sites R, V and A. Site P accusing itself. Round and round we go. Endless junk that all has to be gone through.

Imagine a billion submissions claiming 5 billion URLs are copies of 5 billion others. Who gets to decide? Who gets to bang their head against a brick wall first?


 7:19 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

What’s interesting is the number of copyright owners filing claims for mostly domains is a rather insignificant number of 1,825. If you break that down even further each of the copyright owners is filing on the average of 3,200 claims of infringement monthly. This doesn’t sound like the typical filer. A few large claims I have seen literally involved hundreds of pages of url’s that appeared quite legit with random testing. Plus some of the filings involved large amounts of photos from various entities you might not think about.

Furthermore if you subtract the 1,406 anti-piracy reporting organizations from the 1,825 figure the number of individuals filing is almost miniscule if non-existent in relation to web sites.


 4:33 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

(The way I read it, there were 1,406 anti-piracy organizations plus 1,825 individuals).

I think Google have brought this on themselves:

Since Panda they seem to be placing a big premium on uniqueness of content, while still being hopeless at differentiating original publishers from scrapers.

What did they think was going to happen? Obviously webmasters are going to start demanding that infringing copies of their work are removed from the index.

Perhaps we should all get our DMCA requests in quickly before Google decide not to bother responding to them.


 5:05 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

So if the DMCA is used in rankings, has anyone who has made a report seen any changes at all in the serps? It would seem to me that we should be seeing some search engine rankings starting to move already.


 11:00 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can that be good! It better be stinkin' smart enough to realize who the true originators are!


 3:35 am on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

So no one has seen any changes in the Serps from all this reporting?


 6:52 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google could save itself some work and treat crowdsourced content scrapers like the scrapers that they are, and sink them in the SERPs.

By "crowdsourced content scraper" I refer to Pinterest, Loveit, etc., and Ehow.com's Spark, which is a category of its own in terms of its ability to destroy original content providers.


 8:21 am on Sep 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

what happens for sites outside the USA? where there is no such thing as a DMCA. Does this mean USA sites have an unfair advantage in Google now? Or because Google is USA based it must remove pages it caches? What if it just removes the cache and not the ranking?


 2:52 am on Sep 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anything to do with the USA/Company will by the laws of the USA no matter what .. Even if you host it out side the USA best thing is to get a none USA Domain this will help you alot an find a good hosting company out side the USA but direct all your traffic back to the USA .. I hope it works ..


 3:52 am on Sep 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Or because Google is USA based it must remove pages it caches? What if it just removes the cache and not the ranking?

As undertand it, because they are USA based Google must remove results after a valid DMCA complaint - no matter where the site is hosted. Same is true for Bing.

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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