If you’ve ever tried to find a show or movie for free online through Google — we know you would never — you’ve probably seen a note saying that some of the search results have been removed. Google can take down search results for pirate websites under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). While this is common, Google recently has taken its DMCA compliance to a new level.
Last month, TorrentFreak said it uncovered information suggesting that Google’s search content policy could extend to users’ privately saved links. Digging into private collections is a more invasive action in comparison to removing general search results. The more personal “moderation” could generate backlash from users.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
TorrentFreak cited an email shared by software developer Eddie Roosenmaallen. Google notified Roosenmallen that it had removed a saved item from one of his collections for violating the search engine’s policy. The item in question was katcr.co, a torrent site.
TorrentFreak tried to save URLs that were removed from the search engine like audio downloading site Yout.com and torrent site 1337x.to. Since the takedown rules only apply to URLs, pirate domains can create a new website that users can save. In the last nine months, Torrent Freak said Google Search requested the removal of one billion pirate links. Piracy is a pervasive problem across the internet.
When you visit a website through the Google app, you can tap a little bookmark icon next to the URL. This will save it to your Favorite pages by default, but you can tap Edit to create collections and organize your saved URLs. To access your saved content, open the Google app and tap the Saved icon in the bottom right corner.