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Google says it has helped removed over 100% more piracy URLs in 2016 compared to last year Reuters

Google removed over 900 million piracy related URLs from its search results in 2016, the company says.

The tech giant was asked to remove more than a billion links in 2016 that copyright holders claimed infringed content. This was nearly twice the number of requests it received the year before and the successful removal of 900 million links is an increase of nearly 100% compared to the previous year.

While Google has taken some steps to make pirate sites less visible, it continues to disagree with rights holders on how to move forward.

Copyright holders, who are mostly music and film industry producers, have been pressurising Google with notices to take down links related to pirated content. However, Google says it has considered its own method to determine what needs to be removed and continues to disagree with rights holders.

In 2016, rights holders targeted content on 351,000 different websites, which means these links are not just on torrent websites. Among the rights holders the UK music industry group BPI is the leader with over 80 million requests closely followed by Fox, NBC Universal, HBO and Microsoft.

The year 2016 saw the take down of KickassTorrents, a major website promoting pirated content, giving hope to rights holders that they may be slowly winning the war on piracy. However, the website re-emerged last week, indicating that fighting online piracy is not an easy task despite the heavy clout these companies possess.