Microsoft objects to millions of Google search results

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google's released a list of copyright-related take-down requests - and nearly half of them came from Microsoft, it says.

The company's now including requests related to copyright in its Transparency Report figures - because, it says, these form the greatest proportion of take-downs.

And, it says, of the total 1.2 million requests for URLs to be removed from the company's search results in the last month, Microsoft was responsible for 540,000.

Overall, it's asked for more than two and a half million links to be removed in the last year.

Next on the list come NBC Universal, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), porn company Froytal Services and the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI).

The number of takedown requests has been increasing dramatically over the last couple of years. Almost all - 97 percent - are found to be valid, and the average take-down time is just 11 hours.

"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," says Fred von Lohmann, senior copyright counsel.

" 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."

Google says it's releasing the data because the figures are so high. It's perhaps a bit sensitive about copyright itself, too, having only recently seen off a lawsuit from Oracle over copyrights relating to Java.