Digital

Google reveals which rights owners have requested links be removed

By | Published on Monday 28 May 2012

Google

Google has published a report outlining all the requests it received to remove links to infringing content from its search results between July 2011 and May 2012, with Microsoft filing the most requests (536,716) and the UK record industry’s very own BPI coming in second, having filed 182,805 requests.

Also filing a lot of requests in that period were NBC Universal (165,662), the Recording Industry Association Of America (31,922) and various agencies that work for other content owners. In terms of the record labels directly, according to Billboard the numbers were as follows: Universal Music Group (9,299), Sony Music (8,074), EMI (6,020), Warner Music (3,977), and Beggars/XL Recordings (855). On the other side of the equation, the domains most complained about by rights owners and their reps are Filestube, Torrentz.eu and 4shared.com.

Although some in the music industry have criticised Google for not going far enough to stop its search service from directing users to illegal sources of content, the web giant insists that “we don’t want our search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws so we’ve always responded to copyright removal requests that meet the standards set out in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act”.

Though, and hitting back at the rights industries a little, Google said that it also wanted to ensure that only genuine copyright complaints resulted in links being removed from searches, noting that some companies, mistakenly or deliberately, request content be removed which they don’t own. Google wrote in a blog post: “We’ve seen baseless copyright removal requests being used for anticompetitive purposes, or to remove content unfavourable to a particular person or company from our search results”.

It added: “We believe that 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. 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 eleven hours”.



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