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Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify. [insidesearch.blogspot.com...]
In addition, we found some interesting patterns that do not, by themselves, indicate concern, but which are of concern when combined with the fact that one third of the notices depended on questionable claims:
* Over half—57%—of notices sent to Google to demand removal of links in the index were sent by businesses targeting apparent competitors;
* Thirty percent of notices demanded takedown for claims that presented an obvious question for a court (a clear fair use argument, complaints about uncopyrightable material, and the like);
* Notices to traditional ISP’s included a substantial number of demands to remove files from peer-to-peer networks (which are not actually covered under the takedown statute, and which an OSP can only honor by terminating the target’s Internet access entirely); and
* One out of 11 included significant statutory flaws that render the notice unusable (for example, failing to adequately identify infringing material).
The specifics of our data set may limit the ability to neatly generalize our findings. Yet the findings are troubling, and seem to indicate a need to further study, and perhaps revisit entirely, the DMCA takedown process.
... The surprising number of questionable takedowns we observed, taken in conjunction with the ex ante removal of content, the minimal remedies for abuse of the process, and the lack of knowledge about the counternotice procedures, suggest that few are well-served by the current Section 512 process, and some or many individuals, as well as public discourse and the Internet’s value as an expressive platform, may be harmed.
The potential for abuse here is going to be unreal.
The potential for abuse from the infringers was already unreal.
perceived to be biased in favor of the popular brands or websites.