google-logo-feature-1030x686Columbia University’s American Assembly and Berkeley has published a research paper that claims almost 30 percent of the more than two million URL takedown requests Google receives daily may not be valid.

There is data that Google gives to the Lumen database, who is an independent, third-party research project that was created to analyze DMCA requests and other complaints found about online content, that gives researches the ability to review over 108 million takedown requests and found that 28.4 percent, “had characteristics that raised clear questions about their validity.”

According the the findings of the research, 4.2 percent of takedown requests that target websites fail to include infringing content that is specified in the DMCA notice.  Other failed takedown requests were aimed at sites that have already been shut down for over a year now.  There were other concerns involving improperly formatted DMCA notices, subject matter that didn’t fit DMCA takedown guidelines, and potential issues around fair use laws.

The paper was reported by both TorrentFreak and The Washington Post, and in the paper, it was claimed that the high volume of “questionable” requests is the result of automated DMCA notices.

Here’s a statement made by Joe Karaganis, a co-author of the research paper, to TorrentFreak:

“With notice sending robots talking to notice receiving robots, the step of actually looking at the targeted content often drops out of the equation. The main contribution of our study is to go back in to look at the targeted content and make those human judgments.”

It was pointed out by TorrentFreak that Google acts on 97.5 percent of DMCA.    This means that, despite all the questionable takedown requests, a large majarity of them are being implemented.

If you’re interested in reading the 160 page research paper, you can downloade it here: Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice.

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