This is an update to my post from last week. Google has now removed the 31 additional pirate URLs I reported. The total removed (since April) is 170. Some of the titles removed include re-uploaded versions of pirated films...Read More
139 DMCA notices later, nothing changes for the Google Drive account
As I wrote last month, Google seems to ignore its own pledge to disable accounts of repeat (piracy) infringers. Today I sent another 31 DMCA takedown requests this week (170 over several months) reporting this same account for copyright infringement on behalf of indie film distributors I represent. So far, Google has removed 139 pirate links since last April yet the account remains online sharing links to several hundred pirated films. I ask again, why is this account still active? After all, isn’t eligibility for protection under “safe harbor” dependent upon implementing a reasonable repeat infringer policy?
Google looks the other way as piracy repeat offenders continue to flourish on Google Drive
I wrote a piece last May about Google’s failure to punish “repeat offenders” on its Google Drive platform so I thought I’d give you another update. Despite having sent DMCA notices for 64 pirated titles (and having them all approved for takedown) the Google Drive account remains active and online, illegally sharing hundreds of pirated films. Note that I sent the DMCA takedown requests over several weeks to repeatedly report the same account holder.
On paper, Google claims to punish repeat offenders. This from Google’s own Abuse program policies and enforcement document:
Respect copyright laws. Do not share copyrighted content without authorization or provide links to sites where your readers can obtain unauthorized downloads of copyrighted content. It is our policy to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. Repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright, will result in account termination. [emphasis added] If you see a violation of Google’s copyright policies, report copyright infringement.
Yet in reality, the company does nothing. And, to make matters worse, while Google refuses to enforce its own policy, the account holder basically says F-you and replaces 57 of those pirated movies that were removed with new links to download via Google Drive and offline sites (mostly Openload.co).
Repeat offenders on Google Drive aren’t penalized
Google touts its efforts against piracy on its various platforms, yet, when push comes to shove, the talk is generally more bark than bite. Much has been made about pledges to down rank or flag repeat offender pirate sites via its search engine, but little mention of another Google product where pirates find safe haven, Google Drive.
Per its own abuse FAQ, Google warns that repeat offenders will have their accounts closed:
Respect copyright laws. Do not share copyrighted content without authorization or provide links to sites where your readers can obtain unauthorized downloads of copyrighted content. It is our policy to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. Repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright, will result in account termination. If you see a violation of Google’s copyright policies, report copyright infringement.
Yet, in reality, this pledge rings hollow. In the past couple months I’ve sent Google numerous DMCA notices requesting the removal of infringing content from a particular Google Drive account. After reviewing the DMCA notice, Google eventually removed the pirated films reported, but the Drive account itself remains active. As of today, May 12th, 2017, the account continues to host and share dozens and dozens of other pirated films. How much is enough Google?
On YouTube account holders get three strikes before their account is closed. Meanwhile, on Google Drive, it appears that one can pile up strikes with no penalty. Why does Google drag its feet? Perhaps it’s because Google Drive accounts are not front and center. One has to know where to look. Fact is that many pirate sites have taken to using Google Drive as a favored repository for stolen content. Upload to drive and share the links and face no penalty.
Google and Bing reach agreement in UK to demote pirate websites in search results
Leave it to our friends across the ocean to make some (apparent) progress in the ongoing war against online piracy. According to a story published in The Guardian this week Google and Microsoft have agreed to make changes as to where links to pirated content appear in search results on Google and Bing.