Google Fielded 100 Million+ DMCA Takedown Requests in 2015

Now with many years of experience working with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), service providers such as Google or YouTube deal with DMCA takedown requests like well-oiled machines. This increased efficiency has been matched by an increase in DMCA takedown requests from copyright holders: already, still in April, Google has processed more than 100 million such requests in 2015.

The Rapid Rise of DMCA Takedown Requests

Even in 2011, Google only received several hundred requests per day, but the request rate has risen rapidly. In 2014, it took a full month longer for Google to hit the same 100 million figure. And if they continue to increase at their current pace, Google may surpass half a billion processed requests this year.

Google has attempted to combat copyright infringers in a variety of ways. Recently, it made changes to its search algorithm in a way that downgrades frequent infringers within its engine’s search results. At the same time, however, this high-volume process system begets occasional mistakes, and the service provider has had to work just as quickly to ensure that the effects of mistaken takedowns are reversed.

Abuse of DMCA Takedown Requests

Importantly, this increased number of processed takedown does not mean the internet has seen a continual rise in copyright infringement. Many of the requests are not valid. One 2009 news article reported that more than half of the takedown notices Google receives involve businesses targeting competitors’ content. And more than one-third of the requests were simply not valid copyright claims. That statistic is a reminder to service providers that although they may be receiving a greater number of takedown requests, the providers must still do due diligence in investigating the requests’ validity before responding.


For more information on this topic, please visit our DMCA Compliance service page.

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