Google publishing data on all copyright takedowns it receives

For many years, Google has published a "Transparency Report" with the number of non-copyright-related takedown notices it receives from governments, police, courts, individuals and corporations. Now, the company have added copyright takedowns to the mix. Sadly (and weirdly), this part of the report isn't searchable, as Alan at Copyfight notes: "I cannot search to see if someone has requested that, say, material owned by me be removed from any domain. This is important because in the past organizations that didn't actually own copyrights sent takedown notices. Only a copyright holder should be entitled to do that. Like any other 'big data' source the uses to which these data could be put are varied, but lack of search will hamper most efforts."

Today we’re expanding the Transparency Report with a new section on copyright. Specifically, we’re disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content. We’re starting with search because we remove more results in response to copyright removal notices than for any other reason. So we’re providing information about who sends us copyright removal notices, how often, on behalf of which copyright owners and for which websites. As policymakers and Internet users around the world consider the pros and cons of different proposals to address the problem of online copyright infringement, we hope this data will contribute to the discussion.

For this launch we’re disclosing data dating from July 2011, and moving forward we plan on updating the numbers each day. As you can see from the report, the number of requests has been increasing rapidly. These days it’s not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009. In the past month alone, we received about 1.2 million requests made on behalf of more than 1,000 copyright owners to remove search results. These requests targeted some 24,000 different websites.

As TechDirt points out, many of the takedown notices that Microsoft sent to Google were for sites that were not removed from Bing, Microsoft's competing search engine.

Copyright Removal Requests – Google Transparency Report

Transparency for copyright removals in search (Google Blog)

(via Copyfight)


  1. Someone call Google and tell them any information that they release that is not searchable strikes us normal folk as stupidly ironic or just stupid. 

    I’m too busy to do it right now, trimming my toenails.

  2. I have a personal experience with Google’s handling of copyright takedown notices. But because my site of Van Damme movie reviews (every word of which was written by me) was on Google Sites, it wasn’t just delinked from searches, it was fully suspended. I filed an appeal, and week later my site was mysteriously restored. I still have no idea who send the copyright notice or what it was about. And the appeal process is simply a button saying “I appeal”. You have no opportunity to make a statement on your own behalf.

    It’s a process that left me confused and concerned that it could happen again at any time.

  3. Elegant Angel is a porn company (I had to look it up). Sounds like they’re a bunch of dicks and assholes.

  4. Thanks for the pointer.  I should probably note that I had a brief conversation with the product manager for this via Google+ and he agreed that lack of search was a significant issue and added it to their feature request list. No promises, of course, but at least they’re aware.

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