Google says it's taking down a billion pirate search results a year

Film and television studios don't want you finding dodgy downloads with a simple web search, which is why Google has been asked to take down a record one billion 'pirate' search results over the last 12 months.

Copyright holders can request that Google pulls links in its results that infringe copyright - so Game of Thrones torrents, for example - and those copyright holders have obviously been very busy throughout the course of 2016.

TorrentFreak took a look at the numbers in Google's Transparency Report and found that takedown requests had risen to a staggering 1,007,741,143. Of those, 908,237,861 were actually removed (that's 90.1 percent, math fans).

Copyrights and copy wrongs

The takedown requests that weren't acted on were found to be invalid, not linking to copyright infringing content, or duplicates of earlier requests. In total, Google has now removed more than two billion URLs across 945,000 different domains.

Google and other search engines are obliged to take responsibility for linking to content that infringes copyright, although government regulations vary from country to country, and the number of total requests has risen sharply in recent months.

Most requests (more than 50 million) were aimed at the site, which for its part says a lot of those were duplicates - so that's almost alright then. You can read the most recent Google Transparency Report for yourself here.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.