This will hardly comes as a surprise, but the RIAA and other "anti-piracy groups" are still complaining that Google "isn't doing enough" to prop up their old and obsolete business models. The latest complaint? That Google's system only accepts a mere 10,000 DMCA takedowns per day and somehow that's just not enough
. It turns out that this isn't actually true, but we'll get to that in a moment. Much of the article focuses on Dutch extremist anti-piracy group BREIN saying that the limit needs to go away. But there is this bizarre statement from the RIAA as well:
“Google has the resources to allow take downs that would more meaningfully address the piracy problem it recognizes, given that it likely indexes hundreds of millions of links per day. Yet this limitation remains despite requests to remove it,” RIAA noted.
In addition to unthrottling the URL limits, RIAA also says it wants to lift the cap on the number of queries they can execute per day to find infringing content.
“Google places artificial limits on the number of queries that can be made by a copyright owner to identify infringements.”
This seems wrong on a variety of levels. As we noted last year when the RIAA raised some of these complaints, part of the problem appears to be that the RIAA doesn't understand
how Google's tools work. There are some technical limitations in terms of how many URLs a "trusted partner" using automated means
can submit at once
, but no actual limit on the number of URLs that can be submitted total. There's a practical reason for the setup: in case an automated system goes haywire, Google wants to be able to catch it. But that's it. It does not limit the searches or the ability to submit DMCAs. We asked Google for specifics, and they confirmed:
While there is no limit on the number of DMCA notices that a copyright owner or reporting organization may send us, we put safety limits on the number of automated submissions that partners can make at one time using our tools in order to protect our systems from technical problems. We increase these limits for partners who have demonstrated a consistent track record of submission quality and volume.
On top of that, there's the issue that takedown notices go through a review process
before the takedowns happen, to hopefully weed out abuse. For the RIAA to compare handling of takedown messages to the automated process of searching is really bizarre. It's basically them saying they want to be able to automatically takedown any content with no review whatsoever. That's a massive problem for a variety of obvious reasons. Indexing the web for search is an automated process. Taking sites down requires at least some level of review, even if only cursory. Apparently, the RIAA not only misunderstands the tools available, but also the DMCA process itself.