Google asked to remove more than a million websites from search results

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(WTVR) – Google is being asked to remove more than a million websites due to its results over growing copyright and piracy concerns.

The internet giant says it has experienced a ‘rapid’ increase in the number of take down requests. Citing that it now receives more ‘notice and take down’ requests from rights-holders in a week than it did 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,” Fred von Lohmann, senior copyright counsel at Google, said in a blog. “These requests targeted some 24,000 different websites.”

Von Lohmann made the comments as he announced that Google will start disclosing the number of requests it receives from rights-holders who ask that links to allegedly infringing material be removed from its search index.

Google’s updated Transparency Report said that Microsoft is responsible for issuing the largest number of take down requests from a single organization. It asked for 543,378 individual links to be removed from Google’s search results in the past month and nearly two million in the past year. 

While Google has admitted that it does receive bogus take down requests, 97% of links identified as infringing in rights holder requests between July and December last year have already been removed. The company said that the ‘notice and take down’ procedures that it conforms to provide the best mechanism for tackling online piracy.

Under existing US copyright laws set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), online service providers are not liable for users’ copyright-infringing behavior as long as they are ignorant of it. They are responsible once they have been told about infringement, though, and must remove or disable access to the content.