Google receives tonnes of requests from copyright holders daily for removing infringing content. The company then analyzes the received requests and removes the content that violates copyright claims. The number of DMCA notices received by Google has increased manifold over time. As reported by TorrentFreak, content creators have asked Google to remove over four billion pirate links till date.
Whenever Google removes links from its search results, it displays a notice at the bottom with the number of results removed from a search page. Google also provides links to the DMCA notices on LumenDatabase which led to the removal of links.
Google Unlocked – Revealing ‘Censored’ Search Results
Now, Google Unlocked, an open-source extension for Chrome and Opera aims to ‘uncensor’ these results and display the links removed by the search giant.
Google Unlocked is available on GitHub and its description reads, “The extension scans hidden search results that were censored by Google due to complaints.
The tool scans those complaints and extracts the links, returning them back to the search results, all in a matter of seconds.”
Speaking to TorrentFreak, the developer behind the extension said that it works by searching for the word “complaint” in the LumenDatabase, fetches the associated URL with it and injects it into the search results using a simple XMLHttpRequest.
There’s A Catch!
While the extension is helpful in searching invalid DMCA notices, it has a major flaw – it displays infringing content as well, which is an issue faced by other similar anti-piracy crawlers.
This inherent nature of the Google Unlocked where it fails to differentiate between infringing and non-infringing content is an issue that cannot be solved owing to the complexity of the situation.
Nonetheless, the extension is quite helpful if you want to check whether the notices issued for removing a result were legitimate or not and you can also refer to the URL where the original content has been hosted.
Being an open-source extension, the developer is inviting fellow developers to contribute to it and come up with means to improve it.
He said, “I put the source on Github and I hope to get more programmers to do pull requests to keep the extension up to date, since I know a lot of geeks will love this extension.”
Is Google Unlocked helpful for you? How do you think it can be further improved?