Copyright and filesharing news website Torrent Freak has examined Google's weekly link removal request reports from 2014, and has calculated that the search engine received just over 345,000,000 takedown requests over the course of the year.
This was reportedly a 75 per cent increase from the previous year, while back in 2008 Google only received 62 link removal requests for the entire year – meaning there has been a 556,000,000 per cent increase in six years.
According to Torrent Freak, the five websites with the most takedown requests made against them were:
1. 4shared.com – 8,345,559
2. rapidgator.net – 7,838,757
3. uploaded.net – 5,412,519
4. dilandau.eu – 4,913,298
5. gosong.net – 4,484,310
It is said that more than 60,000,000 of the 345,000,000 requests from 2014 were made by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) – the UK's music industry trade association.
Copyright holders urge Google to increase its fight against piracy
Over the years, many copyright holders have criticised Google's overall approach to pirated material – many have urged the company to be more 'responsible'.
The report states several of Google's anti-piracy principles, one of which reads: "The best way to battle piracy is with better, more convenient, legitimate alternatives to piracy. By developing licensed products with beautiful user experiences, we help drive revenue for creative industries."
Google does not automatically grant a takedown request – it examines each one and if it deems that the link does not in fact appear to infringe any copyrights, it will choose not to remove it. It is also reported that Google often chooses to ignore requests for the removal of content that has already been taken down previously.