Rightsholders sure are trigger-happy when it comes to wiping their copyrighted content off the face of the Internet. They’re so trigger-happy, in fact, that they’re dishing out all kind of takedown requests for links to websites that haven’t existed for months.
That’s right, Google got takedown notices about MegaUpload yesterday, despite the fact that the site has been defunct since mid-January. Same thing with Demonoid and BTJunkie, even though those sites don’t exist anymore and the content the offending links point to is long gone.
Who’s sending all these requests? Take a peek at Google’s Transparency Report and you can see they’re big name rightsholders like Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI. They aren’t issuing the requests themselves, of course, they’ve got reporting agencies to do it, but still no one in the chain has noticed Megaupload links don’t work anymore.
Why? It’s a symptom of an increasingly automated copyright-enforcement process, the same kind of behaviour that gets good content caught in the crossfire. And with takedown requests doubling in the last year, you kind of have to wonder how many of them might not be pointing to anything.