|By the end of 2014, copyright holders had made 345 million requests to monolithic search engine service Google in the hopes of having content taken down that they claimed infringed upon their rights as owners, according to a summary of Google’s weekly transparency reports from Torrent Freak. Though Google honored many of these requests, the efforts seem to be misplaced.
Back in 2008, it received less than 100 such requests per year, but now it receives more than one million per day, mainly for the sites 4shared.com, rapidgator.net and uploaded.net.
Copyright holders weren’t the only ones trying to take charge against those infringing on copyrights. Google itself also set in motion updates that changed its algorithms so that sites receiving an abundance of takedown notices would be demoted and fall in their search engine page results ranking.
“At Agency 850 we believe what Google is doing is legit,” says Kelly Cooper, Marketing and PR Coordinator for the online marketing company. “Our founder spent many years the entertainment business and understands the importance and value of copyrighted content. However, if content owners would make it easier for users to download their content legally, it may slow the intentions of illegal downloads.”
Many of the updates Google made were capitulations with major copyright holding groups like MPAA and the RIAA, which believe that Internet users will stop downloading copyrighted content illegally if it’s harder to find through Google.
Unfortunately for these copyright holders, that’s not the case. Reports have shown that search is not the leading traffic driver towards torrenting sites. For example, the term “30 rock” is searched 5,000 more times than the term “30 rock free download,” which indicates that an exhaustive amount of users who search for the TV show aren’t looking to download it. It shows that those who want to download TV shows, music, and movies aren’t going to use Google to find free streams.
Trying to make Google stop illegal, copyrighted content is similar to making it fight a hydra — a new leak appears once one has been chopped down. Instead, it would make more sense for copyright holders to work with Google and promote legal ways of accessing content. It would be more effective if copyright holders make legal access more desirable than illegal access. Why fight fire with fire, when you could snuff the flames out with water?