Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th May 2012 22:34 UTC
Google Google has released a treasure trove of data about takedown requests regarding possible copyright violations. What may surprise some - but is actually kind of logical if you think about it - is that most requests, by far, come from Microsoft. You'll be surprised about the total amount of requests, and looking at some of them in more detail, it becomes obvious just how much certain organisations would abuse takedown power if they had it.
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Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 24th May 2012 22:42 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

As someone pointed out, you can check search takedown requests for particular domain like this (change <somedomain> to whatever):

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/domains...

Edited 2012-05-24 22:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

From the FAQ
by abstraction on Thu 24th May 2012 23:41 UTC
abstraction
Member since:
2008-11-27

Quote:

"A content protection organization for motion picture, record and sports programming companies requested the removal of search results that link to copyright removal requests submitted by one of their clients and other URLs that did not host infringing content."

Sounds very much like The Pirate Bay was the target here ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by RichterKuato
by RichterKuato on Fri 25th May 2012 02:04 UTC
RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

"I think this is a very valid system, and, contrary to what some might think considering my posting history, I'm happy there's a working system where rightsholders can get infringing links removed."

I'm not. What benefit do I from censored search results? None what so ever. Also, it's a totally invalid system since it requires censorship to work. Besides, there was already system like this in place that didn't require censorship (Getting the website itself to take down the content).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by RichterKuato
by cfgr on Fri 25th May 2012 02:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by RichterKuato"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Besides, there was already system like this in place that didn't require censorship (Getting the website itself to take down the content).

I agree. Google Search is the wrong place to block these things. Google does not host the content. If anyone has an issue with a website, they should contact the owners of that site instead and take them to court if necessary (and if possible). After all, how is Google able to determine what is legal and what not and how can we trust that Google is a neutral judge? They are showing plenty of goodwill now, but what in 20 years?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by RichterKuato
by MollyC on Fri 25th May 2012 03:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by RichterKuato"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

So what?
Nobody's stopping one from using other methods to get links to pirated warez. Google's not obligated to help one pirate. And Google's not a government agency, so they, as a private entity, can censor whatever they want (until some govt declares them a monopoly, in which case they'd have to follow rules wrt what they censored, but I doubt they'd ever be forced to provlide links to warez).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by RichterKuato on Fri 25th May 2012 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

So what?
Nobody's stopping one from using other methods to get links to pirated warez. Google's not obligated to help one pirate. And Google's not a government agency, so they, as a private entity, can censor whatever they want (until some govt declares them a monopoly, in which case they'd have to follow rules wrt what they censored, but I doubt they'd ever be forced to provlide links to warez).


That's not really the situation here. Google just responds to the take down requests. They actually have an interest in keeping their search results uncensored (providing the best search service) but they also would risk punishiment if they didn't comply. The Government would be the ones handing out the punishment if they didn't comply.

I'm not telling how Google should do their results that's what the people sending the take down requests are doing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by Radio on Fri 25th May 2012 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

And Google's not a government agency, so they, as a private entity, can censor whatever they want

Excuse me but I do think this is a problem.

A problem already tackled elsewhere. None of the - private - phone companies are monopolies, but they have an obligation of neutrality (which is far older than net neutrality): they can't filter your phone calls or your text messages, whatever its content.

We are regressing.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by RichterKuato
by MadRat on Tue 29th May 2012 11:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by RichterKuato"
MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

It allows large clearinghouses of publishers and agents to strangle the smaller ones. Want to keep the little guy from gaining ground? File a complaint. It will take ages for them to sort through the red tape and by then the critical window for sales will have passed.

Reply Score: 2

Workable?
by Lorin on Fri 25th May 2012 02:55 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

Not really, it is not the job or responsibility of a search engine to censor what results are returned on a search, the responsibility lies solely with the owners of the individual sites.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Workable?
by gagol on Fri 25th May 2012 03:14 UTC in reply to "Workable?"
gagol Member since:
2012-05-16

The only loophole I can see is that in the process of serving search results, google have to cache the content, thus hosting it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Workable?
by daddio on Sun 27th May 2012 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Workable?"
daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

Caching just enough content to index and link to the original is
Textbook. Fair. use.

If the "orginal" happens to be infringing, there (at eh infringing site) your (you the copyright holder) problem.

Copyright aggregators want to use the search engine to find infringement and then prevent everyone else from doing what they did.

They should be rewarded with a system that just filters the results for them and their agents ;) . The pirate bay should be blocked from all MPAA ip addresses and youtube should be unreachable from Viacom!

Reply Score: 1

URLs
by l3v1 on Fri 25th May 2012 05:27 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

to remove search results [...] Each request names specific URLs to be removed


I'm always standing confused at this. I know it's been debated long and hard several times, I'm still not convinced. I mean, if such content is out there to be found, with or without a search engine, then if a search engine indexes and returns such content, the "offended" parties should be thankful towards such search engine to be able to find such content, and then they should go after the ones who post such content, not the search provider. In my view, a search engine should provide all the answers it can find that are relevant to a query, and should never be held accountable for what it finds. After all, it's its main purpose to find those results. Yet it always seems that takedown req. submitters think of a search engine as a content provider, which it isn't (except when they actually provide some processed data that they compile from other sources, but I highly doubt those contain much infinging material).

Edit: I just saw Lorin's comment above, +1.

Edited 2012-05-25 05:28 UTC

Reply Score: 8

The cost
by dsmogor on Fri 25th May 2012 10:23 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Processing 250k requests a week (something that can't go without human intervention) must cost a fortune, another blow to Google.
Who's gonna pay for that? As MS is competitor to google in search space they could easily use this mechanism to abuse them and artificially make other se gain competitive advantage.
That's the huge loophole I see in this legislation, as it may potentially make the whole search business commercially non-viable. Just mentioning something even if it's illegal shouldn't be punishable, that a totalitarian measure.

Edited 2012-05-25 10:28 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Two issues
by torbenm on Tue 29th May 2012 10:23 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

There are actually (at least) two issues here:

1. Should Google even be required to remove links to illegal copies of copyrighted material?

2. How to avoid copyright holders spamming Google with invalid claims?

In an ideal world, the answer to point 1 should be "no": Referring to illegal content should not be illegal in itself. However, Google may have a moral obligation to remove links to illegal content such as child pornography, terrorist agitation etc. even though the links themselves are not illegal. It is, however, debatable how illegal something has to be before Google should be obliged to remove links. Presumably, Google is being overly conservative so as to avoid regulation.

The second problem could be solved if Google charged a fee from people or organisations that make clearly abusive or invalid claims. It is not uncommon for public agencies to demand a fee up front for complains, but where the fee is paid back if the complaint is found valid. If the fee is low enough that it does not prevent people from complaining if they do, indeed, have valid complaints, and it is possible to appeal the decision, it is not a major obstacle. But it discourages blatant abuse and groundless claims, which is the reason such fees exist in the first place. Whether Google would be legally able to charge such fees is another matter, though. I suppose they could always fall back on suing companies that make a large number of abusive claims for anticompetitive behaviour, but such trials could end up being very expensive.

Reply Score: 1

scientology
by zhulien on Tue 29th May 2012 12:24 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

actually, i thought church of scientology would have been #1

Reply Score: 1

proof or not?
by zhulien on Tue 29th May 2012 12:27 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

do the copyright holders need to prove that they own the copyright of something they submit a request for removal for, or do they just get acted upon without any proof?

Reply Score: 1