Google, the search engine that helps us find our way through the web everyday, has become without intention the largest database that contains links towards pirated media. As researchers claim, hundreds of thousands of URLs are added each month, a fact that does not help in the struggle against content theft and media protection. Although this story may sound silly, the high number of links towards stolen material comes from Google’s attempt of indexing all copyright takedown requests and informing its users about links which will not be available any longer.
Google has a database with links pointing to pirated material
According to the DMCA proposition, copyrighter holders have the power to demand websites to block access towards such type of media, and one of the main websites receiving requests is of course, Google. But considering Google’s beliefs when it comes to freedom of speech and censorship (they are in fact the ones who left the East because of censorship), it wanted this whole process to be transparent and visible to users, so they started a database of forbidden links which is now the place where someone can find millions of URLs towards pirated material.
With the sole purpose of actually helping those that combat piracy, Google has managed to add 719,415 new URLs just last weak, almost double than the amount indexed two months ago and four times as many as in January, this year. Copyright holders had a tough response to the research, by requesting Google not to index the URLs anymore, because they are targeting forbidden material.
This way, copyrighters will enforce Google with the use of automated software to remove all links towards pirated material, but in the process slugs that target legit sources may also be hurt. IMBD, Last.fm and other websites fit perfectly in this category.
Google’s black-list database, which by the way can be found on the ChillingEffects website, also gives users that are not so tech-savvy access to millions of direct links containing even movies or images of games. Although Google indexes vast percentages of the whole web, it was not that easy for someone to find a way of downloading pirated music and other samples of this kind.
The irony of the situation is that until this issue is resolved, and Google stops building its dedicated database for pirates, companies like Microsoft and the RIAA will actually start to send takedown requests to their own takedown request.