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Google Transparency Report Now Covers Copyright Takedowns

Google has announced that it has expanded the coverage of its transparency report to include information on copyright issues.

The transparency report is the regularly scheduled bulletin which shows how many times Google has been asked by the various governments around the world to censor web content. It further details the number of requests made by governments for data on users, and recently started including information on its traffic patterns, and where they've been disrupted.

From now on, the transparency report will also include data on copyright takedown requests, recording the amount of times IP owners ask for links to be removed from Google search due to copyright infringement.

The first transparency info dump proves an interesting read, with no less than 1.25 million URLs requested to be removed from search results in the past month. February of this year witnessed a peak in requests, with 334,000 in a single week.

Compare that to the summer of 2011, which is as far back as the data goes, when requests varied from around 55,000 to 155,000 per week. So there's been a big increase in volume during the past year.

Interestingly, Microsoft is the leading complainant about sites violating its copyright, and in the past month has made 543,000 requests for URLs to be squashed. That's more than triple the amount of second place organisation, the BPI, which is on 162,000 requests.

Google notes that it only actions requests which comply with the standards set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that it ignores copyright chancers.

In a blog post, Google stated: "We try to catch erroneous or abusive removal requests. For example, we recently rejected two requests from an organization representing a major entertainment company, asking us to remove a search result that linked to a major newspaper's review of a TV show. The requests mistakenly claimed copyright violations of the show, even though there was no infringing content."

Source: Google Blog