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Google logs record 21.5M URL takedown requests in September

The search engine's Transparency Report shows that takedown requests for piracy and copyright infringing URLs are increasing at a breakneck pace.

URL takedown requests Google receives each week. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET
Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

The number of URL takedown requests Google receives from copyright holders has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. And now, a new high has been reached -- Google received 21.5 million takedown requests in September.

The new data comes in Google's Transparency Report, which not only gives the numbers but also shows who is requesting the takedowns, the copyright owners, and the targeted domains.

During the last week of September, Google received the highest amount of requests to date -- a whopping 5.9 million. For comparison, not much more than a year ago the search engine was getting a mere 1.2 million requests per month.

Google started publishing the Transparency Report data in 2011. At first the company focused on government requests to remove content but then began also showing complaints on piracy and copyright infringement.

Many of the copyright holders requesting takedowns are music and movie associations and companies, such as the Recording Industry Association of America and Walt Disney. According to the Transparency Report, Google grants the majority of requests.