RIAA Censorship Reaches 25M

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is not slowing down with requests for copyright takedowns. Last week processed a batched that brought their takedown total to over 25 million. This is 5 million more since they hit 20 million in May. With more links to content available on new proxy websites, it is easier to find pirated content on the Internet.

DMCA Takedown Notices

The RIAA sends the most DMCA notices of all organizations in the music industry. The takedowns appear to be helping to fight piracy. But anti-piracy organizations say that it is getting worse. What can be removed from websites is URL listings, or links to content that violates copyright laws. It looks like the numbers are increasing because of the prevalence of proxy sites. It is not just because the RIAA is getting better at tracking down copyright violators and sending DMCA notices.

Google has now removed more than 25 million URLs from its search engine at the request of the RIAA. Degban, an Indian anti-piracy organization, has requested almost 29 million takedowns. The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) has sent over 24 million. And these are just the top three companies. The total is around 80 million, with some reporting companies belonging to the Six Strikes group. With all these takedowns it is hard to disagree with the theory that available links on the net are simply multiplying faster.

Public Concerns

The public has growing concerns as well. As there has been an increase in the availability of content, there is a corresponding difficulty in determining legitimate content from pirated content. Many users who are fond of downloading music are afraid that they will get slammed with infringement notices as well. The Six Strikes legislation is not without its faults. People are worried that they will be the next victims of false reports. Some avid downloaders have already started using VPNs to protect themselves. Companies like iVPN and HappyVPN provide secure and anonymous Internet for these concerned netizens. Read more about how some of the best VPN providers provide protection for Internet users.

Takedowns Don’t Help

The RIAA executive director of anti-piracy Brad Buckles reported in May that they are seeing more and more results every day. It seems that for every link they order taken down, several duplicate links pop up. It is not that there is more content flooding into the Internet. The content is either being duplicated, which is fairly easy to do, or multiple links to the content are being posted, which is far easier to do. James Brands of Digital Copyright Consultancy says that the blocking policy implemented on file sharing sites has really backfired.

RIAA Censorship

As anti-piracy companies strive to take down file-sharing sites, dozens of proxy sites come out to take their place. Links to the content in question was previously limited to sites like The Pirate Bay, H33T and KickAssTorrents. Now, as they are being attacked, several other sites are running facilitate access to the blocked domains. And these sites are carrying more copies of the links to the content. The increase in links available on the Internet is therefore increasing at an exponential rate. Brandes admits that it has become more difficult to fight piracy now. There is such a great multiplication of links through these proxy sites that it creates more work for them. He also said that it is more work for smaller copyright owners and independent music labels. They just don’t have the resources to keep up with the massive number of links now available on the Internet.

VPNs for Safe Internet

HappyVPN focuses on providing services for mainly residents in Arab countries, particularly Dubai. But they also serve the US and the UK. Many other providers are looking into expansion to cover more areas and people in need of a more private and secure Internet experience. IVPN has recently released an upgrade to their service called iVPN 7. This new version has a VPN connection monitor. It allows users to see a list of other people who are connected. It send them notifications of connections and disconnections as well so users can see how congested the connection is. Their registration process is also much simpler and faster. These and other improvements are aimed at giving Internet users a better experience. They hope that this will compensate to some degree for the inconveniences that recent Internet spying and tracking has caused.

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