The Piracy Paradox: Google and Lumen Database November 15, 2016
As Google becomes richer with honeypots and other false positives in place of working links for for-pay content, one constant remains:
DMCA notices are publicized, thus neatly culminating working download links and making them readily available.
For example, let’s say I’m searching for a new album from a band:
As you can see, I’ve searched for the artist name (Testament), a part of the album name (Brotherhood), and I’ve specified a site I would like to see results from (site:zippyshare.com). As a quick aside, Zippyshare.com is a fast, low-barrier-to-entry download site, which makes it a popular choice among downloaders.
The interesting part in the image above is the paragraph I highlighted at the bottom, which in an otherwise long list of search results, is usually buried.
If you click “read the DMCA complaint,” you’re taken to a page on the Lumen Database (formerly known as Chilling Effects) in which all a user must do is search the page for the name of the site they’re interested in finding download links from, or the name of whatever they’re wanting to download so as to find a good link.
Since it seems few people ever make it down to that paragraph in Google, this doesn’t necessarily mean search engine DMCA notices are pointless; however, it certainly leaves a lot to be desired on the behalf of entities wishing for their content to not be referenced AT ALL by Google — or any search engine, for that matter.
What’s the point of paying for a DMCA service that, instead of removing offending content, inadvertently creates a neat repository for it all?
Worse yet is that the very site meant to provide transparency in this equation has itself become the ultimate search engine for everything from direct downloads to torrents! Yes, Lumen Database has its own built-in search functionality:
After typing in a search for Testament Brotherhood Zippyshare.com, here is a small sample of the results (I’ve obfuscated parts of the links so as to avoid receiving DMCA notices myself):
Again, this is the absolute antithesis of what the anti-piracy industry is trying to achieve. Why this paradox is the current standard from a legal standpoint is beyond me, but in a world where the FBI continues running roughshod over the juggernaughts of piracy, the takeaway we’re left with here is tragically ironic: Google and Lumen Database are the untouchable, undisputed heavyweight tag team champions of the piracy world.