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.
Thread beginning with comment 519848
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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