Google More Friendly to Stopping Copyright Infringement Than You May Think

A recent article reported that Google is apparently taking down 1.2 million search links a month over copyright infringement and piracy issues. That’s good

A recent article reported that Google is apparently taking down 1.2 million search links a month over copyright infringement and piracy issues.That’s good news for paid content professionals, who have been skeptical of Google’s Wild West attitude towards online content and publisher/artist remuneration.According to Google’s Transparency Report, the most requests come from software, entertainment, and adult content sites. Microsoft is the leading copyright owner, and the number of take-down requests seem to be growing exponentially.According to GigaOm, “Google did not say whether this spike is the result of an increase in piracy or instead is due to more sophisticated tools that make it easier for rights owners to detect when their content has been misappropriated.” (If you’re interested in protecting your online content, you can report any infringements here.)But Google states it now takes about 11 hours to respond to a take-down request. And in order to keep requests in check, Google also reported on its own blog that it rejects inappropriate or mistaken requests:

…[W]e try to catch erroneous or abusive removal requests. For example, we recently rejected two requests from an organization representing a major entertainment company, asking us to remove a search result that linked to a major newspaper’s review of a TV show. The requests mistakenly claimed copyright violations of the show, even though there was no infringing content. We’ve also seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavorable to a particular person or company from our search results. We try to catch these ourselves, but we also notify webmasters in our Webmaster Tools when pages on their website have been targeted by a copyright removal request, so that they can submit a counter-notice if they believe the removal request was inaccurate.

The Transparency Report started as a way to report on governments’ requests for take-downs or user data (more on that later). But as the report details, private companies are taking advantage of the service to protect their own content.In contrast, user data reports are still only issued when requested by governments or courts. And while Google details the number by country, China is conspicuously absent on the report. Hmm…

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