HomeWinBuzzer NewsPirates Turn to Google Drive and OneDrive as Torrent Site Crackdown Continues

Pirates Turn to Google Drive and OneDrive as Torrent Site Crackdown Continues

Pirates are taking advantage of Google's free storage and infrastructure, the company receiving 4,700 in the past month. The change lets them avoid invasive advertising present on many torrent sites.


Despite efforts from Hollywood, game publishers, and even , continues. An analysis DCMA requests by Gadgets360 reveals that pirates are moving to services like , OneDrive, and Mega as popular torrent websites close.

The first major site to go was The Pirate Bay, which Swedish police seized in 2014. Kickass Torrents, a rival site, was seized by the U.S. government in July of 2016, followed by Torrentz.eu weeks later.

Users have been able to access the services with only minor convenience thanks to hundreds of mirror sites. However, pirates have experienced a continual degradation in quality thanks to malicious and invasive ads.

Bing and Google have also been demoting and removing sites with Copyright Infringement notices, making it harder to discover new sites.

As a result, pirates seem to be turning to Drive as a distribution method for movies and TV. A total of 4,700 DMCA requests targeted the service last month, while around 100 pointed to Mega, and less than a dozen to Dropbox and OneDrive.

Source: Gadgets360

Why Google?

As one of the most active enforcers of copyright takedowns, Google doesn't feel like a natural first choice for piracy. However, the tech giants infrastructure and polish actually makes it ideal.

While many simply list direct links to torrent trackers, others simply upload videos to YouTube in an unlisted form. This allegedly prevents an instant takedown via YouTube's copyright system, and in return users get a well-optimized streaming experience.

Add to that the free storage, which sits at 15 GB vs OneDrive's 5 GB, and it's easy to see why. After a relatively simple account creation process it's quick for users to upload content and post links to private groups and forums.

However, the most inventive use of Google's services comes from its My Maps website. The service lets users create custom maps by adding a tag to a location and writing a description. As there is little moderation, distributors can post links to unlisted videos or Drive files.

Though Google is very quick to comply with DCMA takedowns, it seems unable to keep up with the volume. So far, a company spokesperson simply repeated the following:

“It's against our policies to post copyright infringing links or content. Rightsholders can and do notify us when copyrighted material has been posted and we work quickly to review and take action on those notices.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft is filing patents that could stop such methods. A recently approved patent would let it block pirate content on OneDrive and other storage platforms via a Windows 10 kill switch.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.