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Friday, May 25, 2012
Microsoft Tops In Inquiry List For Copyrignt Removals In Search

Google seems to be receiving more complaints about websites believed to be infringing on Microsoft's copyrights than it does about material produced by entertainment companies and studios.

The search giant on Thursday began revealing details about requests for links to be removed from Internet search results.

Two years ago Google launched the Transparency Report, showing when and what information is accessible on Google services around the world. The company started off by sharing data about the government requests it received to remove content from its services or for information about its users. Today Google expanded the Transparency Report with a new section on copyright, disclosing the number of requests its gets from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content.

According the new report, Google has logged more than 2.5 million requests in the past 11 months to remove links believed to be violating Microsoft's copyrights. That ranked above second-place NBC Universal and BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd. The Recording Industry Association of America was also identified as the copyright owner in more than 416,000 requests. Other copyright owners on Google's Top 10 list of removal requests include Universal Music, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Sony Music and an adult entertainment site, BangBros.com.

Websites targeted by requests ranged from online data file "lockers" to personal blogs. The websites most frequently targeted in the copyright complaints sent to Google were filestube.com, torrentz.eu, 4shared.com and zippyshare.com.

Google receives more than 250,000 take-down demands weekly. However, the company watches for erroneous or abusive removal requests by competitors, who have also used false copyright violation accusations to scuttle rivals online.

Online infringements in the U.S. are currently covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which requires the content owner to police sites for violations and then send requests to take down the material.

"Transparency is a crucial element to making this system work well," said Fred von Lohmann, Senior Copyright Counsel at Google. "We look forward to making more improvements to our Transparency Report?offering copyright owners, Internet users, policymakers and website owners the data they need to see and understand how removal requests from both governments and private parties affect our results in Search," he added.

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