Google Search is the most-used search engine on the World Wide Web, receiving several hundred million queries each day through its various services. But this time it’s in news as Google’s Internet search enginer receives more complaints about websites believed to be infringing on Microsoft’s copyrights than it does about material produced by entertainment companies pushing for tougher laws against online piracy.
A snapshot of Microsoft’s apparently rampant copyright headaches emerged in new data that Google released Thursday to provide a better understanding of the intellectual property abuses on the Internet.
The report provides a breakdown on all requests Google has received since July 2011 to remove copyright-infringing content from its search index.
There were more than 2.5 million requests to remove links believed to be violating Microsoft’s copyrights. Google Inc. isn’t identifying the nature of the infringements, but Microsoft Corp. has long complained about illegal downloads of its Windows operating system and other software.
About 97 percent of the copyright removal requests sent to Google are found to be valid by the company, prompting the offending links to be blocked from its influential search results. Google decided to share its insights on copyright abuse amid a rising outcry for a crackdown against online piracy that media companies have claimed is collectively costing them billions of dollars each year. The backlash inspired a piece of get-tougher legislation dubbed the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which had the backing of most major music and move studios. The proposal caused dismay among major Internet companies who feared the law would stifle free speech and innovation. The bill was abandoned four months ago after fierce high-tech opposition that included a one-day blackout of popular websites such as Wikipedia and an online petition drive spearheaded by Google.
The websites most frequently targeted in the copyright complaints sent to Google were filestube.com (nearly 390,000 links requested for removal), torrentz.eu (more than 147,000 links) and4shared.com (more than 132,000 links).
Google’s new report doesn’t include copyright removal requests sent to its popular video site, YouTube, or its Blogger service. But Google’s search engine receives the most copyright complaints, accounting for about 60 percent of the 5.4 million removal requests the company processed last year, von Lohmann said.