updated 08:28 pm EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
Copyright takedown requests reach 250k pre week
Google has shed more light on URL takedown requests that it receives from various companies reacting to alleged copyright violations. The search giant has broadened its transparency reports to visualize trends, highlighting the surge in takedown notices. More than 1.2 million takedown requests were processed just last month, issued from thousands of copyright owners and reporting organizations.
Although RIAA members and music studios dominate the ranks in terms of URL takedown requests each month, Microsoft currently leads by a wide margin. The Redmond-based software company accounted for over 500,000 URL takedowns just last month.
Google suggests the vast majority of requests are legitimate and subsequently honored, however many are found to be blatant attempts to abuse the takedown system. Examples of misuse include an unnamed movie studio that asked for a legitimate IMDb page to be removed from search results, a reporting organization that asked for unfavorable movie reviews to be omitted, several instances of companies attempting to delist competitors, and attempts by individuals to remove search results pointing to negative comments or other information.
"Given its importance as a starting point for many users, removal from Google's index can have devastating consequences on speech," advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a statement. "Google has done the right thing by pushing back on bogus takedown notices, both by reviewing and rejecting those requests the first time, and by publishing real data about the behavior of copyright holders and reporting organizations."