Transparency Report Update

We’re pleased to release the latest update to our transparency report, covering the period of January 1 – June 30, 2015.

We try to make each new transparency report more…transparent, by adding new and more detailed information about the legal demands we receive, our responses to them, and the internal policies that guide our actions.

In this report, we’ve added a few new pieces:

  • We’ve identified our top DMCA complainants. From here on out, we’ll include a chart showing the organizations that submitted the greatest number of DMCA notices in a reporting period. Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by third party take down services, many of whom use automated bots to identify copyrighted content and generate takedown notices. We’ve written in the past about the many potential pitfalls of this practice. In the future, we may report statistics on the success rate of notices submitted by each of our top reporters, in hopes of identifying those who use automated tools thoughtfully, as they should be used: in conjunction with human review to ensure that they’re not targeting things like fair use (or even their own clients!).
  • We added more information on the processes we follow for reviewing and acting on (or rejecting) the DMCA notices we receive. The Copyright and DMCA page includes information on how our DMCA process works, for both users and copyright holders. The Our DMCA Process page explains the steps we follow to review and act on the DMCA notices that we receive. We’ve also published all of our DMCA forms, emails, and notifications on Github under a Creative Commons license. We hope this furthers our goal of transparency and serves as a useful resource for other website owners and companies who want to comply with the DMCA in a user-friendly fashion.
  • For DMCA notices, we are now reporting more granular data on the content we remove in response to a notice. In some cases, we receive a DMCA notice for content posted to a site that violates our Terms of Service (like a spam or warez site, for example). In prior reports, we counted both the suspension of these types of sites and the takedown of individual copyrighted files from legitimate sites, in the category of “notices where some or all content was removed.” Beginning with this report, we are separately reporting the percentage of notices where we remove copyrighted content from legitimate sites. In this reporting period, for example, if we counted suspended sites as rejected notices, the percentage of notices where some or all content was removed would be 33% (down from 57%).
We hope you find the transparency report useful and informative. If you have suggestions for how we can improve the report, or information you’d like to see included in future reports, please let us know!