Google creates a giant database of links to pirated material

The content industry is extensively using automated tools to send Google DMCA takedown notices about piracy-stemmed links publicly accessible on the web, but the abuse of the aforementioned DMCA regulations coupled with a transparency effort from Google are effectively bringing a massive archive of illegal content freely available on the web. Through the Google search engine.

The somewhat grotesque situation is highlighted by TorrentFreak, and involves the Chilling Effects project and the related website created to protect lawful online activities from legal threats. The site hosts an archive of takedown notices, and Google is one of the most prominent providers of DMCA complaints for the archive.

Google publishes the takedown requests the company receives from RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft and other organizations, and the number of these requests is growing rapidly: the latest batch of complaints contained 719,415 URLs to be removed from the search engine index, an amount (amassed over a single week) which doubled the number of requests received two months ago.

By publishing these complaints on the Chilling Effects site, though, Google lists the URLs the industry would like to remove from the search engine – and then the company indexes the Chilling Effects page with the same URLs on its search engine.

The final result of this behaviour is that the content industry is starting to ask Google to censor the Chilling Effects pages containing the URLs to remove from the search engine. It's a takedown-takedown request, essentially, that could spur further takedown requests in a domino effect going on indefinitely.

Takedown-takedown requests aside, though, another potential issue with the DMCA abuse by the content industry could be the exploitability of the Chilling Effects database: someone could mine the huge amount of data available on the site and build a trove of pirated stuff for everyone to browse and download from – on the file sharing networks or elsewhere.

Source: TorrentFreak

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