In January this year Megaupload was taken down by U.S. authorities. In the space of a few hours the entire site was completely wiped out and the news made dozens of headlines that continue to break to this day.
But while seemingly everyone knows that Megaupload no longer exists, the likes of IFPI, BPI, Sony, Warner, Universal, EMI, The Publisher’s Association, Microsoft, and adult company Vivid (to name a few) are absolutely oblivious. To this very day these companies are sending takedown demands to Google ordering the company to remove links to content on Megaupload.com that hasn’t existed, at the least, for almost nine months.
What this shows is that anti-piracy companies aren’t even bothering to check content anymore – they’re simply searching Google, firing off notices without a second thought, and then expecting the search giant to clean up the mess.
I wonder what practical steps could be taken to fix this problem.
If Google could penalize companies posting takedown requests for bogus requests, the complainers would take more care with accuracy. But Google can’t do that as far as I know. Google has just as much liability for a copyright infringement notification comes from somebody with a spotty record.
If Google could cap requests from an entity, the entity would have an incentive to spend their quota wisely. But it can’t.
What’s to stop a company from sending takedown requests for every URL on the web and letting Google figure out the difference?