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UK BPI Calls on Google to Remove Illegal File Sharing Links from Internet Searches

Posted: 22nd Jun, 2010 By: MarkJ
pirateThe British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a supposedly representative voice of the UK recorded music business (Rights Holders), has issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice complaint to Google. The 11th June letter demands that Google remove links to several popular file sharing (P2P) websites from its index because they are alleged to contain unlawful copyright infringing files.
"Infringing webpage(s)" identified by the BPI
1. http://hotfile.com
2. http://usershare.net
3. http://2shared.com
4. http://4shared.com
5. http://mediafire.com
6. http://megaupload.com
7. http://sendspace.com
8. http://teradepot.com
9. http://zippyshare.com
BPI Letter

BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Limited ("BPI") is the UK national group for the International Federation of Phonographic Industries ("IFPI"). Our members comprise over 300 record companies in the United Kingdom. Between them our members are responsible for the production or distribution of the vast majority of sound recordings sold and/or distributed legally within the United Kingdom.

The BPI is also mandated to act on behalf of the members of Phonographic Performance Limited ("PPL") and in this respect, to protect the rights that are owned or controlled by members of PPL, as well those that are owned or controlled by BPI. Part of our work involves monitoring the internet and taking action against persons that use, facilitate, enable and/or authorise the use of material in a manner that infringes the rights of the members of BPI and PPL.

We have identified the following links that are available via Google's search engine, and request the following links be removed as soon as possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by our members.

The letter itself was revealed by the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, which aims to help people (predominantly those who reside in the USA) understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to online activities. CEC is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFE) and several USA universities.

It contains an extensive list of links (about 40) that supposedly go to downloads of unlawful copyright music tracks from authors such as Eminem and Dizzee Rascal. We assume from the context that the BPI has requested only these specific links to be removed and not the hosting website itself.

The letter exposes these links to the public (clever move :glee:) and as a result we have decided not to offer a direct link to the message itself, even if it is easy to find. Many of the links still appear to be active, though some have already been removed by the hosting sites.

Google is known to receive many similar DMCA requests but doesn't always act upon them. Many copyright holders are also angry at Google for indexing a website that indexes links to P2P BitTorrent file downloads. Ironically Google is planning to launch a subscription-based music service of its own in the very near future.
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