There is little doubt that search engine giant Google is requested to remove thousands of links per day and more than four million links per week from its search engine archive. As with most websites on the internet, Google is obligated to remove any infringing content from its search index once provided with a valid DMCA request from those who hold the copyright. Now, HBO appears to be aimlessly requesting that links to content be removed–even if that content appears on HBOs on own website.
Of course many of the links that HBO and partner company DtectNet, an anti-piracy division of MarkMonitor, are legitimately featuring copyrighted content on their websites–which could include videos, show highlights and show recaps. However, in recent months HBO’s automated system has been including its own domains in its request to have Google remove them from their index, which effectively is damaging HBO’s online presence when it comes to search engines.
The good news is that it appears that Google has caught many of the erroneous claims, however the task of going through to double check submitted DMCA removal requests is becoming a larger issue. In the last year many large media companies have developed full staff to help police the internet for illegal copyrighted material. Now it seems that their own quick vigilance could actually hurt them, since getting a link to a legit site back into Google can take weeks or even months.
Some analysts are arguing that Google should charge companies to include pages they previously sought to be excluded back into the search index, a concept that may come to fruition as the amount of DMCA requests Google processes will only increase in the future. For those who want to legally view HBO content online you can use the HBO Go platform to do so.