Google yesterday (May 24) issued its latest "transparency report" showing how often it receives requests from copyright holders to remove links to infringing material. And the numbers are huge. Updated this morning, they show that in the last month 1,314 copyright owners and 1,099 organizations sent 1,255,402 requests to take down search results pointing to copyright violating sites. [ Jailbreaking Smartphones Could Become Illegal ]
Google says that most of the requests are legit, acting on 97 percent of them. But Google deemed the remainder to be "clearly invalid copyright removal requests, "it said in the report, such as movie studios asking to take down links to articles in the Internet Movie Database, or IMDB (which also covers TV programs), and links to "the official trailer posted on a major authorized online media service." It also received two requests from the same studio to remove the link to the same newspaper movie review.
In another case, a U.S. company requested removal of search results that link to an employee's blog posts about unjust and unfair treatment.
In a blog post yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation advocacy group wrote, "Each of those are (sic) instances of legitimate speech that would have otherwise been shut down. Google deserves to be commended for that behavior."