After our post yesterday about how Google drives traffic to pirate sites through Google Alerts (also supported by Facebook and Twitter), I got a chance to speak to Blake Morgan of ECR Music Group. (MTP readers will remember Blake from the #IRespectMusic campaign, still going strong.)
Blake had the same experience with his label mate Janita (whom we interviewed about her experiences in Washington, DC supporting the #IRespectMusic campaign).
The point of this is that Google knows how many DMCA takedown notices it has received for certain sites. Janita’s record was also pirated by myfreemp3 a site for which Google has received over 4,000,000 takedown notices just for Google search links. How do we know this? Google publishes the information in its “Transparency Report” (and for those who read this slide yesterday, that’s right, in one day the total number of notices Google received in 30 days increased by 141,467):
Janita’s record showed up in a Google Alert:
If you click on the link for “Janita” you are taken immediately to myfreemp3:
This pop up is still inside of the Google Alert email and has a link directly to the Janita page on the pirate site:
myfreemp3 even has the brass to scrape Janita’s Billboard Magazine album review:
There’s little doubt that myfreemp3 is a pirate site–Google alone has received over 4,000,000 DMCA notices for the site:
Here’s the point–if Google is told 4,000,000 times that myfreemp3 is stealing, why do they promote the site in Google Alerts that are indiscriminately emailed to hundreds of millions of recipients?
Blake Morgan had this to say:
Blake: Every single day. We get hundreds and hundreds per month, for all of our artists and each of our imprints.
Blake: Oh yeah, that’s the same one. It’s a Russian site that promotes the streaming and downloading––for free––of most, if not all, of our recordings. Our life’s work as artists is being stolen, right in front of us, and that theft is being promoted in turn, via Google alerts.
MTP: You often hear that there’s promotional value to these illegal sites. What do you think of that?