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Google DMCA Takedowns: 1.2 Million Per Month, Microsoft Software Most Pirated

Posted by: , 17:44 AEST, Sat May 26, 2012

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Google reveals detailed stats about its DMCA take-down regime, including the fact that half of the removed links are related to Microsoft intellectual property, and that only 1,300 copyright owners were responsible for more than 1.2 million take-down requests in the last month
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Image/Photo Credit: runJMrun @ Flickr, CC

Google has opened up its anti-piracy books to reveal some interesting statistics about just how many links are removed as part of its DMCA take-down process.

As part of ongoing transparency efforts, the Mountain View giant has revealed that it has been asked by content owners (and their agents) to remove more than 1.2 million search results from the search index in most months, with the number still climbing.

And perhaps surprisingly, nearly half of the requested removals have to do with content owned by Microsoft, as opposed to say Hollywood or the music industry. Just in the last month alone, Google removed more than 540,000 links related to Microsoft IP, with over 9,000 unique domain names targeted. NBC Universal was second, with 165,000 removed links from 3,700 domains.

Despite Microsoft's dominance, the most targeted domain name was still video sharing website filestube.com, with 391,153 having been removed already from the website over the past year alone. Torrent website torrentz.eu was second on the list.

However, these stats only represents a subset of the total number of DMCA requests Google receive monthly. Many requests are ill-formed, missing key data, or request removal of pages that no longer exist. Some are even obvious fake notices, designed to take down competitor's web pages, or to take-down well known, but legal, websites.

Only 1,314 copyright owners were responsible for the more than 1.2 million take-downs that has occurred in the last month.

The posted stats may also fail to take into account successful counter-notifications of invalid DMCA requests - the removed link is re-instated back into the index after a successful counter-notification action. This very website was victim to such a request, and it took over 6 weeks for the matter to be fully resolved.

Other than providing a who's who of piracy (which might inadvertently become quite a handy guide if you're after these sort of things), the sheer number of removals shows just how much work the search giant has to do to comply with current copyright laws. Proposed laws, such as SOPA, will add even more to the workload.


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