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July 29, 2013

Google asked to remove more than 100m web links so far this year

The number of requests is double the total for the whole of 2012.

By Joe Curtis

Google has been asked to remove more than 100m web links since January for pages deemed to breach copyright laws.

The figure is twice the total for the whole of 2012 as publishers become more aggressive in tackling internet piracy.

Google carries out 97% of such requests, but spotted a recent mistake in which Microsoft asked for the removal of links to its own website.

In the last month alone 13.8m URLs were requested for removal from 35,775 domains.

The most requests for July related to pages on filestube.com, with 568,391 URL links requested to be removed from the search engine’s results.

It is also the most specified domain for the year to date, with 5.2m URL removal requests.

Many of the requests are generated by ‘reporting organisations’ on behalf of copyright holders, with Degban top of the list with requests for 2.9m URLs to be removed in the past month and 30.9m in its existence to date.

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Piracy sites have come under attack through the courts recently, with the latest websites to be blocked being torrenting sites EZTV and YIFY.

The court order was made a fortnight ago after the Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) initiated the action with the Motion Picture Association, and British ISPs are expected to carry it out shortly.

Pirate Bay was blocked by ISPs in May 2012, and in March 2013 file-sharing sites KickassTorrents, H33T and Fenopy were also blocked by the High Court.

A Fact spokesman announced other measures to target offending websites, including targeting advertisers some sites rely on for funding, and to prevent payments reaching the sites.

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