Google is asked to remove a record breaking 100,000 links related to piracy every single hour...
The trailer for season six of Game of Thrones was just released and online pirates have already marked the release date firmly on their calendars.A move that comes as no surprise given statistics showing online piracy is now so prolific, Google is asked to remove a record breaking 100,000 pirate links every hour.
According to data obtained by TorrentFreak from Google’s Transparency Report, the amount of Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notices the search engine receives has increased by close to a billion per cent in the last decade.
In March of 2014, Google received take-down notices for roughly six million links per week, which grew to eight million requests per week in 2015.
This skyrocketed to 19 million requests last week along, a huge increase from the few dozen take-down notices issued for the entire year 2008.In a recent submission to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Google said it attempts to comply with the notices in a timely manner.
“We process more take-down notices, and faster, than any other search engine,” wrote Google.
“We receive notices for a tiny fraction of everything we host and index, which nonetheless amounts to millions of copyright removal requests per week that are processed, on average, in under six hours.”
Regardless of the sheer amount of requests, Google stands firm in rejecting calls to entirely remove domain names found to be infringing copyright.
“Unfortunately, whole-site removal is ineffective and can easily result in censorship of lawful material,” wrote Google.
“This would jeopardise free speech principles, emerging services, and the free flow of information online globally and in contexts far removed from copyright.”
Google added the removal of websites infringing copyright would drive piracy to new domains, legitimate sites and social networks.
“Piracy thrives when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,” wrote Google.
“Online services like Google Play, Spotify, Netflix, and iTunes have demonstrated that the most effective way to combat piracy on the web is to offer attractive legal alternatives to consumers.”
But with obtaining all your content legally through streaming services being an expensive task and the continued efforts from Netflix to crack down on geo-dodgers, it’s likely piracy wont disappear anytime soon.
Despite Google’s claiming the removal of websites will be useless, Village Roadshow and Foxtel are still spearheading separate actions in the Australia Federal Court in an attempt to combat the online piracy of film and television shows.
Melbourne-based entertainment lawyer Shaun Miller said Foxtel and Village Roadshow were taking the right approach to stem the illegal downloading.
“Taking legal action to stop an unlawful activity continuing is a sensible and necessary approach,” he told news.com.au
Mr Miller said Australians were often blasé when it came down to legalities of illegal downloading.
“Australians don’t realise that illegally downloading content is nothing short of stealing; and this has a detrimental effect on Australia’s creative communities and to businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of Australians,” he said.
“In addition to Foxtel taking legal action, there really needs to be a cultural shift in the attitudes of certain sections of the Australian population.“The legal action taken by Foxtel will, in and of itself, help educate the public as to the perils of illegally downloading.”
While great in theory, Mr Miller points out the law is not set up to catch illegal downloaders, so people will continue to partake in the dubious activity.
“Given the limited resources of Australian law-enforcing authorities, it would be impractical to deem millions of Australians who illegally download or stream content to be law-breaking citizens and bring legal action against each person,” he said.
“It’s an ever-evolving landscape which is all driven by consumers wanting to access film and TV content as widely, quickly and cheaply as possible.”
With the recent collapse of the “three strike” policy — a scheme where internet service providers would issue Aussie pirates three infringement letters before launching serious legal action — rights holders have been working hard to explore different methods.
As such, Village Roadshow and Foxtel’s are the first rights holders to launch cases in the Federal Court under the Copyright Amendment Act passed by Parliament in June last year.
The legislation enables right holders to call for websites operating with the primary purpose of online piracy to be blocked by ISPs.Of course, the efforts to block access to piracy websites are in vain with the growing popularity of Virtual Private Network (VPN) services, the emergence of new torrent websites and the fact many online piracy websites implement a reverse proxy, which mirrors the original site on a new domain name.
In an attempt to win the war on piracy with a different approach, The IP Awareness Foundation has been rebranded as Creative Content Australia.The rebranded organisation hopes put a greater focus on educating Aussie internet users about the negative effects of piracy.
To help push this message, Village Roadshow co-chief executive Graham Burke has been appointed as the chairman of Creative Content Australia.Additionally, Hoyts Group chief executive Damian Keogh and Walt Disney Company Australia & New Zealand general manager Jo Bladen have also joined the board.Mr Burke said the future of film and television in Australia was reliant on the organisation.
“The new name Creative Content Australia is appropriate because creativity and innovation are the essence of Australia and without copyright protection there will be none,” he toldForbes.
“Its principal role is to enlighten and educate people. Some people have not considered that piracy is just plain wrong but when they understand it is not a victimless crime and other people will lose their jobs, they stop.
“Additionally, these people are not aware they are part of a criminal underbelly with sites that carry advertising for gambling with no age limit, party drugs, hard core pornography and prostitution, as well as exposing themselves to nasty viruses.”