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IFPI issues 100 millionth takedown, calls on Google to do more about piracy

By | Published on Tuesday 14 January 2014


Following the news last year that UK record label group BPI had now issued 50 million takedown notices to Google, requesting that links to copyright infringing files be removed from the web giant’s search engine, now the globally-focused record industry trade body the IFPI has confirmed that collectively the world’s record industry (so IFPI, BPI and RIAA together) have issued 100 million. Which is an awful lot of takedown notices.

Although takedown notice issuing has already become a routine part of copyright management for many record labels and music publishers (with notices issued against blog platforms and user-upload sites as well as search engines), and although most big web firms comply with takedowns (which are actually issued inline with US law), many content owners reckon Google could and should be doing more to combat piracy itself.

And that’s the viewpoint put forward pretty strongly by IFPI boss Frances Moore in a polemic timed to coincide with the 100 millionth takedown. Insisting that past commitments by Google to become more proactive in combating piracy have come to little, and adding that by linking through to so much infringing content the web giant is hindering the digital music start ups as much as record labels, music publishers, recording artists and songwriters, Moore calls on the digital giant to commit to several measures.

Those measures include making good on past promises to ensure that licensed music sites appear higher in Google search lists, adding a consumer-guiding icon next to content that comes from sites known to be licensed, doing more to reblock content previously blocked when it reappears at a slightly altered URL, and stepping up auto complete rules so that Google doesn’t suggest search terms likely to lead to piracy sites.

As previously reported, in the past Google has made some commitments to prioritise legit content in its search results and has removed some piracy terms from auto-correct, though the IFPI insists those measures haven’t come to much. And in the main, Google has resisted calls to step up their anti-piracy measures, instead insisting that content owners should be targeting the ad networks and payment providers than enable piracy operations to make money. Though the IFPI has been doing quite a lot of that too, but still reckons Google should be playing its part in the piracy battle.

Read Moore’s full opinion piece here.

The role of takedown and web-blocks in the modern music business is considered in the CMU Digest report ‘Music Business Trends 2013/14’. Sign up for the CMU Digest service to receive a copy.