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Google’s Trusted Pirate Program

DMCA Force is a proud member of Google’s TCRP or Trusted Copyright Removal Program. The program streamlines our take-down requests to Google and I am frequently impressed by its efficacy and accuracy. We always send notices to both the Search Engines and the offending sites themselves, but Search Engine de-listing is the fastest way to remove those links from the public eye and preserve our clients legitimate sales channels.

Recently, however, we learned that certain pirate sites seem to have a similar option… a sort of Trusted Pirates Program. We issued DMCA Removal Requests to Google on violations for one of our film clients on a popular tube site. They responded with a rejection of our notices. This puzzled me as they were very obvious violations on a known, even notorious, pirate tube site. After more review, I discovered they were rejected for search engine de-listing because the tube site mentioned “has effective removal options”. The exact notice text reads as: Please confirm that you have first attempted to use the sites’ removal procedures.

Now, I’m a firm believer that Tit deserves Tat and that the other side of the conversation has to have dialogue and options for the issue to progress, however I wonder about the viability of this policy. To be fair I can say that the sites Google seems to have flagged for this privilege ARE responsive to DMCA and do have their own viable DMCA processes. The issue seems to arise when we look at the effect on our customers. For the film client above having their movies listed in search results for a tube, even briefly, was detrimental.

We’ll be watching to see how the program develops. There is a chance that this kind of option will drive more sites into responding to DMCA efficiently and we will give Google the benefit of the doubt that that was their intent… for now.

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