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Microsoft tops Google’s takedown requests

Firm sends half a million notices Google’s way
Fri May 25 2012, 09:48
A Microsoft logo

INTERNET SEARCH OUTFIT Google has released its latest transparency report, a list of the takedowns and takedown requesters that it got over the previous year.

The numbers show that of the 1.2 million requests to remove URLs from Google's search results, over half a million came from Microsoft.

Microsoft made 540,000 requests for URL takedowns, aiming them at a range of targets. Google's data shows that it asked that search results linking to a range of wares and filesharing web sites be removed.

Google said that the number of takedown requests has increased dramatically. "The number of requests has been increasing rapidly. These days it's not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009," it said on its blog.

"In the past month alone, we received about 1.2 million requests made on behalf of more than 1,000 copyright owners to remove search results. These requests targeted some 24,000 different websites."

It is happy with the arrangement though, and said that the takedown request method of dealing with 'piracy' is perhaps the best way to deal with the perceived problem. "The time-tested 'notice-and-takedown' process for copyright strikes the right balance between the needs of copyright owners, the interests of users, and our efforts to provide a useful Google Search experience. Google continues to put substantial resources into improving and streamlining this process," it added.

"We already mentioned that we're processing more copyright removal requests for Search than ever before. And we're also processing these requests faster than ever before; last week our average turnaround time was less than 11 hours."

This is the first time that the report has gone into detail about the firms that Google gets copyright requests from, and in a blog post it explains that it has added the statistics because of their sheer volume.

"We're disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organisations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content," it said.

"We're starting with search because we remove more results in response to copyright removal notices than for any other reason. So we're providing information about who sends us copyright removal notices, how often, on behalf of which copyright owners and for which websites."

With tougher anti-'piracy' laws becoming a reality, the firm said that it hopes that policy makers and internet users refer to its data when considering ways of dealing with copyright infringement. µ


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