Since Google is by far the largest search engine at the moment, it is normal for the company to receive the largest number of takedown requests. The war against piracy is getting more and more fierce, with more than one billion takedown requests received by Google during 2016, according to the company’s Transparency Report. Out of those, 914 million (about 90 percent) were approved.
In comparison, Google received 558 million requests to remove links from its search during 2015, meaning that the number of takedown requests grew almost 100 percent year over year. During the week ending September 19, 2016, more than 24 million requests were filed, which is the current record. 900 million removed links (mostly because they’ve included pirated content) affected more than 352,000 sites.
BPI (British Phonographic Industry) filed the largest number of takedown requests, more than 82 million, while the US music industry filed around 12 million requests. HBO, Fox, Microsoft, and NBC Universal were also very prominent during 2016 when it comes to requests for removing copyright-infringing links. When a copyright owner wants to file a takedown request, it must include a specific URL, and it is up to Google to decide whether or not the link should be removed.
The chart above shows how the number of takedown requests grew over the last couple of years. As you can see, during 2013 and 2014 there was a slow but steady growth, which spiked during 2015, and especially during 2016.