Bogus DMCA Notices Nearly Delete Cyberlocker From Google
from the what-happens-when-you-let-others-mess-with-search-results dept
And there are real dangers when you effectively let third parties "edit" or "shape" Google's results as they see fit. TorrentFreak recently highlighted a good example of this, as the cyberlocker RapidGator discovered that it's basically been almost entirely delisted from Google because of DMCA notices. RapidGator already blocks Google from indexing the files hosted on its site -- so even if some users of the service post infringing files, they wouldn't have appeared in Google anyway. As the article notes, copyright holders apparently sent Google DMCA takedowns on links that weren't even in Google's index in the first place. But, more importantly, the pages that were in Google's index were clearly non-infringing, including things like the site's front page or details about the site and the services it offers.
The end result is that Google has taken RapidGator almost entirely out of the Google index. As the company states, the same thing could easily happen to a more high profile or "mainstream" cyberlocker like Dropbox. Just get enough DMCA notices -- legitimate or not -- and thanks to pressure from the entertainment industry, the "results" pages on Google get effectively edited by the legacy entertainment industry. I wonder how long it will take until other industries demand similar rights....