The “I Know What You Download” website offers real-time tracking of pirated content, specifically through BitTorrent users. That is, it works as a monitoring of what is downloaded, but at no time offers download links. Even so, companies that look for piracy sites end up constantly accusing this service of digital crime.
It is not new that companies make attacks against pages that offer illegal downloads to thousands of people. However, when visiting “I Know What You Download”, it is easy to understand its purpose.
It works like a database detecting more than 9 million torrents and more than 100 million shares daily. In short, this is nothing more than an instant service to monitor users of the famous contradictory program. Here, there is no magnet or similar. There is only information.
On the other hand, since 2016, anti-piracy companies have started reporting to Google that the site infringes the copyrights of their brands. This continued in 2017, always with the same reports, but it didn’t take long to subside. In 2019, complaints returned, something that happened again in early 2021.
As of Sunday (23), more than 9,472 individual protests had been registered from 18,800 URLs. What do they all have in common? The same claim of copyright infringement, something that “I Know What You Download” did not do, as it is not a piracy page, but a source of information on piracy activities.
Anti-piracy search engines should know the difference
According to TorrentFreakclose to 50% of protests made by companies contain URLs that were not even present in Google’s indexes when the takedown notices were sent.
Most likely, the brands tried to predict where the criminal links would appear, fabricating them beforehand and sending them to the search giant. The intention would be to catch them before they appear in search results.
On the other hand, since “I Know What You Download” is nothing more than a torrent monitoring site, systems that use artificial intelligence to find pirated content end up pointing to its URL. And yes, these programs should understand the difference between a database and real illegal links.
Andrey Rogov, the owner of the site targeted by brands such as Toei, Disney, Sky, Canal+, Columbia, Irdeto, Fox, Lionsgate, Sony and Netflix, believes he understands what is happening:
I think many companies (copyright holders) implement automatic systems that search pages with torrents with their content (film, series and others). They usually send us an automated email and we reply that we don’t distribute any content. But probably some just write reports for Google and that’s it. We don’t like it, of course, but I don’t think we can do anything about it.
Apparently, these complaints are not going to subside anytime soon. So far, Google has removed about 46% of the protested URL content. This means that the search ranking of the “I Know What You Download” is often affected by these actions.