Proof the war on piracy is pointless

By Matthew Dunn

New service alerts you when a pirated movie leaks online. Photo / HBO
New service alerts you when a pirated movie leaks online. Photo / HBO

Statistics from Google highlight a victory for rights holders in the war against online piracy, but does a new service prove their efforts might be futile?

After exploring Google's Transparency Report, TorrentFreak discovered there had been one billion take-down requests for content infringing copyright in the past 12 months.

The requests were effective with 908,237,861 of the links removed, with the rest rejected for being duplicate requests or links that didn't infringe copyright.

Google has been vocal in suggesting the system is working to help stem the problem of online piracy.

"The notice-and-take-down process has been an effective and efficient way to address online infringement," Google told the Copyright Office earlier this year.

"The increasing volume of URLs removed from search each year demonstrates that rightsholders are finding the notice-and-take-down process worthwhile, efficient, and scalable to their needs."

While looking impressive on paper, many copyright holders and industry groups are aware the process is nothing more than a complicated game of whack-a-mole, with infringing content appearing elsewhere after being flagged.

Further evidence the war on piracy is largely ineffective is the development of a controversial new service, known as Squawkr, which alerts people when a high-quality pirated film appears online.

Squawkr developer Jakob said the service was created to assist pirates search for quality content.

"Torrent sites are flooded with Cam rips and WEB-DLs, which is fine for people who like to watch those," he told TorrentFreak.

"But for someone who enjoys true HD movies, it can be a bit of a pain to go through all the crap, just to find the needle in the haystack."

Jakob admits to consulting a lawyer before launching the website, who advised him to be careful as he was treading in a legal grey area.

Despite sounding highly illegal, the website doesn't actually infringe any copyright laws as the service contains no links to any pirated content, which allows him to be less concerned.

"I wanted to make Squawkr simple and easy to use, while being a powerful tool. It's very intuitive. Just log in, start adding movies and get notified. That's it," he said.

- news.com.au

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