Google Obliges Website Copyright Takedown Requests 97% of the Time

29 May 2012 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

Google is getting high marks for its May 2012 Transparency Report that when copyright owners complain about website infringement, that Google takes down those website urls (universal resource locators) 97% of the time. Google claims the other 3% are not taken down because of inaccurate or incomplete information.

In April 2012 1,255,402 url removal requests were made to Google search alone, not YouTube or Blogger. Top request for April 2012 were: Microsoft made 466,732 requests, NBCUniversal made 180,564 requests, BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd made 147,977 requests, Elegant Angel made 43,828, and RIAA members made 25,540 requests. Computerworld added the following observation:

...the organization associated with the most copyright removal requests was not a music label but Microsoft Corp. More than 530,000 of the URLs that were the subject of removal requests linked to Microsoft content. Between July 2011 and now, Microsoft or its representatives have asked Google to remove over 2.5 million URLs from its search engine results at a median of 48,700 URLs per week.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has praised Google for the Transparency Report that 97% of url takedowns were complied with however the EFF went on to say:

This transparency report gives Google a chance to highlight some of its good citizenship as an online service provider. Although the burden of liability is supposed to be on the organization that sends the takedown notice — it is required to claim under penalty of perjury to have a good-faith belief of copyright infringement — in practice many groups are willing to skirt those rules, sending takedown notices to silence unfavorable speech or even without human review.

Google’s Transparency Report provides interesting insight about who makes url takedown requests, and given Microsoft competitive search engine Bing it would be interesting to see what transparency reports Microsoft issues.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.


Related Services