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.
On YouTube, account holders are allowed three strikes before their account is closed. Meanwhile, on Google Drive, despite warnings to the contrary, it appears that users can pile up strikes with no penalty. Why does Google drag its feet? Perhaps it’s because, unlike YouTube or search, Google Drive accounts operate behind the scenes. One has to know where to look. Fact is, this is one reason many pirate sites have taken to using Google Drive as a favored repository for stolen content. Google has made it (free) and easy to upload stolen content to Drive and share the links with no consequence.
Time for Google to expand Content ID matching to Google Drive so that the hidden pirates can be ferreted out and Google be held accountable.