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Who Sends Google the Most Takedown Notices? Microsoft

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the going-for-the-high-score dept.

Google 148

nk497 writes "Google has released details on the copyright takedown notices it's received over the past year, and the most requests by far have been from Microsoft. Over the past year, Google has received DMCA takedown notices for 2,544,209 URLs over Microsoft-related piracy, with NBC and the RIAA ranking second and third. Many of the reports do not come directly from companies such as Microsoft, but via firms set up only to chase copyright issues. The most popular targets appear to be file-sharing sites. '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,' said Fred von Lohmann, Google senior copyright counsel, adding it takes on average 11 hours for Google to take action."

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Yeah. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108221)

I'm a bootysnap dancer. Give me your regards.

You shall use what is to be! (-1, Troll)

It'sTimeToScrewAss (2647601) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108235)

Around a year ago, I was mindlessly surfing the internet (as I often do) when I came across an enigmatic web page. The page, which looked like a warning from my web browser, informed me that I had a virus installed on my computer and that to fix it, I should install a strange anti-virus program that I'd never heard of (which I found peculiar considering the fact that I already had anti-virus software installed on my computer). Despite having reservations about installing it, I did so anyway (since it appeared to be a legitimate warning).

I cannot even fathom what I was thinking at that time. Soon after attempting to install the so-called anti-virus software, my desktop background image changed into a large red warning sign, warnings about malware began making appearances all over the screen, and a strange program I'd never seen before began nagging me to buy a program to remove the viruses. What should have been obvious previously then became clear to me: that software was a virus. Frustrated by my own stupidity, I began tossing objects around the room and cursing at no one in particular.

After I calmed down, I reluctantly took my computer to a local PC repair shop and steeled myself for the incoming fee. When I entered, I noticed that there were four men working there, and all of them seemed incredibly nice (the shop itself was clean and stylish, too). After I described the situation to them, they gave me a big smile (as if they'd seen and heard it all before), accepted the job, and told me that the computer would be working like new again in a few days. At the time, I was confident that their words held a great degree of truth to them.

The very next day, while I was using a local library's computer and browsing the internet, I came across a website dedicated to a certain piece of software. It claimed that it could fix up my PC and make it run like new again. I knew, right then, merely from viewing a single page on the website, that it was telling the truth. I cursed myself for not discovering this excellent piece of software before I had taken my PC to the PC repair shop. "It would've saved me money. Oh, well. I'm sure they'll get the job done just fine. I can always use this software in the future to conserve money." Those were my honest thoughts at the time.

Two days later, my phone rang after I returned home from work. I immediately was able to identify the number: it was the PC repair shop's phone number. Once I answered, something strange occurred; the one on the other end of the line spoke, in a small, tormented voice, "Return. Return. Return. Return. Return." No matter what I said to him, he would not stop repeating that one word. Unsettled by this odd occurrence, I traveled to the PC repair shop to find out exactly what happened.

Upon arriving inside the building, I looked upon the shop, which was a shadow of its former self, in shock. There were countless wires all over the floor, smashed computer parts scattered in every direction I looked, fallen shelves on the ground, desks flipped over on the ground, and, to make matters even worse, there was blood splattered all over the wall. Being the reasonable, upstanding, college-educated citizen that I was, I immediately concluded that the current state of the shop was due to none other than an employee's stress from work. I looked around a bit more, spotted three bodies sitting against the wall, and in the middle of the room, I spotted my computer. "Ah. There it is." Directly next to it was the shop's owner, sitting on the ground in the fetal position.

When I questioned him, he kept repeating a single thing again and again: "Cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped!" I could not get him to tell me what was wrong, but after a bit of pondering, I quickly figured out precisely what happened: they were unable to fix my computer like they had promised. Disgusted by their failure, I turned to the shop's owner (who I now noticed had a gun to his head), and spat in his general direction. I then turned my back to him as if I was attempting to say that nothing behind me was worth my attention, and said to him, "Pathetic. Absolutely, positively pathetic. I asked you to do a single thing for me, and yet you failed even at that. Were I you, I'd be disgusted by myself, and I'd probably even take my own life. Such a worthless existence isn't even worthy of receiving my gaze!"

After saying that, I left the shop with my computer as if absolutely nothing had occurred there. And, indeed, there was nothing in that shop that was worthy of my attention. Still understandably disgusted by their inability to fulfill the promise, I said to myself, "I'll have to take this into my own hands." After getting into my car to drive home, I heard a gun shot from inside the repair shop. Being that it originated from the worthless owner of that shop, I promptly decided to ignore it.

Once I returned home, I, filled to the brim with confidence, immediately installed the software that I'd found a few days ago: MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . The results were exactly what I expected, and yet, I was still absolutely in awe of MyCleanPC's [mycleanpc.com] wonderful performance. MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] removed every last virus from my computer in the span of a few seconds. I simply couldn't believe it; MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] accomplished in moments what "professionals" had failed to accomplish after days of work!

MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colours where no one else could! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my system, and increased my speed!

If you're having computer troubles, I highly recommend the use of MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . Don't rely on worthless "professionals" to fix up your PC! Use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] if you want your PC to be overclocking, if you want your gigabits to be zippin' and zoomin', and if you want your PC to be virus-free.

Even if you aren't having any visible problems with your PC, I still wholeheartedly recommend the use of MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] . You could still be infected by a virus that isn't directly visible to you, and MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] will fix that right up. What do you have to lose? In addition to fixing any problems, MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] will, of course, speed up all of your gigabits until every component on your PC is overclocking like new!

MyCleanPC: For a Cleaner, Safer PC. [mycleanpc.com]

Outstanding! (0)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108821)

Despite the overt psychosis of the story's protagonist, this ad is marvelous!!! I honestly wish you the best and hope this ad medium will be continued in other stories for other products ;-)

Re:Outstanding! (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109065)

Indeed, it is amusing. I just wish it wasn't spammed into inappropriate places.

Re:Outstanding! (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109513)

I know, if this ad was for a relevant product, like Microsoft Office or Google Chrome, it would surely get a few clicks from this story. I'd click just for the amusement factor of the story, for sure. Not for this likely scam product, though.

potential iffyness (4, Interesting)

MrDoh! (71235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108239)

Must be an odd position to be in where your competitor can take down the main thing you do. Ok, infringement obviously needs to be taken down quickly, but I can see there being a huge issue here later.
Is there something that matches this in Bing? And if there is, wonder how quickly Google will take down pirate apk sites.

Ok, had to pause a moment there. Doing a search for;
"free pirate android apps"
on google/bing produces wildly different results as you'd imagine. Wonder how this will go.

Re:potential iffyness (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108267)

Google and Bing give wildly different results on many different topics, including topics that both companies are disinterested/uninterested parties. Not to say they aren't skewing the results of some hot topics, just that different results are to be expected for almost anything.

Re:potential iffyness (5, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108313)

Strange that MS doesn't remove [techdirt.com] from Bing the same links it asks Google to take out.

DDOS by any other name (5, Interesting)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108359)

Of course not. The goal is less about taking down the sites and more about burning Google's resources through excessive takedown requests. Google ought to queue the requests in a FIFO pipe and process a small number per day. Maybe they could require payment for the processing, which does cost Google real money, to offset the time and resources wasted.

Re:DDOS by any other name (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108589)

Payment for every request lodged per day over X perhaps - at a rate that increases as more are lodged.

While my first thought was the same as yours - with pirated windows being microsoft's second favourite operating system, it is a little disingenuous to believe that they care more about attempting to curb piracy or even being seen to attempt to curb piracy than they do about wasting a competitor's resources in any way possible, especially given that they aren't removing those links from their own search engine - my second thought was a little different.
People are presumably still going to try to find microsoft warez, and if they find that bing returns better results than google on that topic, or any other topic they're interested in, they might start to use it instead, replacing the habit of googling something with binging it. What better way to get people to use your search service than effectively offering them free stuff while simultaneously making it harder for them to find the same free stuff using other people's search? People love free stuff, even (especially?) free junk.

And if they go back to using google? "Dear Mr Doe, it has come to our attention (around fourteen months ago, back when you started using bing) that you have in your possession a pirated copy of our software. Please prepare yourself for legal reaming. Have a nice day. P.s. You should have stayed with bing."

Re:DDOS by any other name (5, Interesting)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109083)

It could be more insidious than that. By flooding Google with requests, Google will automate the process. In fact, I bet they already have. This means less human oversight, and a greater chance that anything can be censored.

Re:DDOS by any other name (2, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109203)

Or maybe Microsoft's lawyers don't bother sending the same notices to Bing because, well, who uses Bing?

(OK, I use Bing once in a while, before going back to Google when I realize Bing is just as crappy as Google search.)

Re:DDOS by any other name (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109415)

Google should charge US$0.99 per take down for "administrative cost recovery" or some other similar reason. It's a price high enough to stop "frivolous" take downs. It's low enough that people who are actually loosing money because of a link should have no qualms about paying.

Re:DDOS by any other name (3, Insightful)

geniice (1336589) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109559)

Google isn't going to do anything that would risk its safe harbour statements. At the same time sending these requests already costs Microsoft money

Re:potential iffyness (5, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108415)

Strange that MS doesn't remove [techdirt.com] from Bing the same links it asks Google to take out.

What are you implying? Next thing you'll claim Fox News only attacks liberals? You'd think everyone had an agenda.

Hanlon's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109227)

Maybe Microsoft just hasn't figured out how to clean links out of Bing yet, it might not be malice at all.

Re:potential iffyness (5, Informative)

Exitar (809068) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108669)

The goal is to make Bing the search engine most used by people looking for copyrighted content, since they could not find it on Google anymore.

Google should simply submit the same take down notice to Microsoft if the "illegal" link is found on Bing too.

Re:potential iffyness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109423)

Google should simply submit the same take down notice to Microsoft if the "illegal" link is found on Bing too.

Google aren't evil. Microsoft are.

Re:potential iffyness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109469)

Since when? Both have their evilness in the same league, it's just that MS as a software vendor is more visible.

Re:potential iffyness (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109569)

Google aren't evil. Microsoft are.

Bitch, please.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109473)

Google should simply submit the same take down notice to Microsoft if the "illegal" link is found on Bing too.

They probably can't, since they aren't the copyright owner. I would think it would be easier to make some kind of case that if one party doesn't care enough to remove content from their own engine then the cost burden of doing so on the other should be compensated.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109565)

Depending on how you read the DMCA that would ever be perjury or straightforward fraud.

Missing the hidden point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108683)

What are most of the top links MS requests be removed?

                                      Porn and Piracy sites!

Its in MS's interest to remove them from Google and not itself to drive those users to Bing.

Very clever!!!

Re:potential iffyness (1, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108701)

There's nothing strange at all.

The only reason those results are on Bing is because Microsoft scraped Google's search results.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108837)

Maybe MS doesn't see a lot of click-through on those links and can actually do the calculus. I wouldn't be surprised if most pirates use Google since most people use Google. Or maybe the people in charge of this (since this does take MS resources to issue the takedowns) are just too brain-dead to search Bing as well. Or maybe Bing's takedown procedure is far more arcane and costly than Google's?

Hanlon's razor, people. Use it.

Re:potential iffyness (1, Troll)

jdev (227251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108969)

Strange that MS doesn't remove [techdirt.com] from Bing the same links it asks Google to take out.

No, they just realize that nobody uses Bing :) They send the takedown to Google first since that will do more good.

Re:potential iffyness (4, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108319)

I wouldn't expect Google to have the same interest in censoring Android app results on Bing, because the relatively few apps actually owned by Google are generally released for free anyway, whereas Microsoft has a ton of commercial software that many people consider desirable to rip off, like Windows, Office, MS Game Studios titles, etc.

Recall that in general for Microsoft, software is something they create to sell to the public. For Google, software is something they give away free so that they can sell people's private browsing experiences to advertisers.

Re:potential iffyness (2, Interesting)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108831)

Recall instead that the software is not created just for sale to the general public. It is also there to be pirated, a pirate copy of Windows is M$ second favorite operating system.

It's also not just desirable from M$ perspective to encourage piracy of their products but also part of their marketing. It's easier for M$ to compete with Linux where there is piracy than where there is not [cnn.com] . Every Windows user, pirated or not, is not a Linux user. It keeps Linux out of the picture. we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade [cnet.com] .

It also makes sense from a marketshare perspective. When you have a monopoly, the most valuable thing you have is the monopoly itself. Preservation of the monopoly gives a better return on investment than anything else. Most of M$ revenues would dry up without the monopoly rents.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108939)

That's my sense as well. It seems like Microsoft's strategy is to go lighter on foreign piracy specifically. For example, I think it would make the most sense for them to try to censor Google, but not Baidu. The First World has both money and (somewhat) effective legal enforcement.

Re:potential iffyness (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108341)

Pirate apk sites? Damn those rogue HOSTS files!

Re:potential iffyness (-1, Offtopic)

you2510 (2647455) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108487)

Economic depression, consumer is in online mall to buy discount merchandise, recently found that's website (http://www.cheapnikeshoesuk.com/) can go and have a look

Re:potential iffyness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108509)

You're right. Cheap Nikes hoe does suck, but your spelling could improve.

Re:potential iffyness (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108525)

infringement obviously needs to be taken down quickly

Obviously for you, maybe. Copyright infringement is supposed to be decided by courts, which is not an 11 hour process.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109039)

They are de-listing the sites in their search results, not confiscating the domain.

Re:potential iffyness (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108887)

The simple answer is that Microsoft has more copyrighted things out in the wild..... Windows of course, but also their various office products, and also games for the Xbox. - Google has less to protect and less infringement to deal with.

I would have thought the top requester would be the government itself. They are #2 on youtube, demanding that videos be taken down.

Re:potential iffyness (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109541)

Ok, infringement obviously needs to be taken down quickly, but I can see there being a huge issue here later.

Except that the topic isn't infringment; it's claimed infringement. Counts for the two could easily differ by orders of magnitude.

I don't think it would be difficult to write a script that wanders around a target site, picking pages at random, and generating a "takedown" message. I could probably produce such a script in under a day that targets google. The most time-consuming part of the task would probably be getting the template for the message from our company's legal department.

When google is reporting millions of such messages per year from a single source, it's pretty obvious that it's not individual humans doing it by hand. What I'd wonder is whether google has developed software for automating the handling of takedown notices, as they've done with news stories. I'd be surprised if they've hired the hundreds of thousands of people with legal training in copyright law that would be needed to handle such a flood.

That's a shock (3, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108253)

Who knew they were so protective of Bob and Clippy?

Re:That's a shock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108467)

Slashdot seems full of anti-MS shills who are stuck in 1999.

I don't know if it's amusing or just pathetic.

Re:That's a shock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108551)

I know you're trolling, but I actually agree.

I hate M$ more than anyone else I know, but compared to Apple and Google, they actually seem kind of benign--if clueless.

Sure Microsoft has craptons of money and have done a lot of damage through FUD to the free/open source software community (and computing in general), but their ineptitude and bumbling theatrics have rendered them largely impotent.

Apple and Google, however, are stated enemies of privacy and enduser freedom. They've managed to convince their potential detractors (the geek/tech communities) that they're actually "the good guys" so they get a free pass with all their nefarious and invasive bullshit. If there's an information-era dystopia in our future, it will be ushered in by companies like Google & Apple.

It's rare to find anyone on slashdot who's willing to admit that google might actually be the "next big evil," but if you look around on the 'net, there is an increasing sense in the community that this may actually be true.

They make M$ look like the good guys, which is saying something.

Re:That's a shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108735)

Microsoft was the big evil, are they still evil? Yes. Are they the most evil company? Sadly, no. Their "evilness" started declining somewhere after 2003, probably due to the fact that there was no one to take down or remove since they owned everything, or so they thought. They're still looking in the rear view mirror today, even though they got passed years ago.

Google has been evil for at least the last 8 years and maybe more. Facebook has been evil since, I don't know, inception? The real question is which one is worse.

Apple? Evil? I'm not sure they really fell into the camp until recently with Siri. While a cool tech, it's certainly ripe for abuse. If you're going to go off about the iTunes music store and DRM, first I'll note that Apple got the labels to sign on, and finally to remove DRM. I'd call them good guys on that front. That said, my music collection numbers into 10K songs, all lossless, and none purchased from the iTunes music store, yet still they amazingly somehow play on my iphone/ipods and other utilities, even on other systems.

Phones? It's their phone, and they must be doing something right, as it is the #1 selling model with a huge loyal following. You may not like it, and that's fine. I don't like Yugos either, and don't own one.

The last thing is the Mac App Store - this one's interesting, and the thing to note is that when you get something via the MAS, it's relatively safe software to run and use. Do I agree with all of it? Mostly, yes. It would be nice if they allowed you to post your non MAS solutions for registered devs with signed apps at least with a small cut since they are not hosting it nor anything else, but are still playing by proper rules. Free apps would obviously not get a cut, but at least it would give you a one stop shopping place for everything Apple has at least knowledge of. Note that this still allows you to install non MAS / Apple registered software, even on mountain lion. It's just allowing all registered devs to have a small advantage, instead of only MAS devs.

Re:That's a shock (5, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108865)

Microsoft: Evil by design

Facebook: Evil by proxy

Google: Evil by accident

Apple: Evil by tyranny

Re:That's a shock (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109165)

can we really not have the false flag troll as a response to a troll?

Any corporation with billions can be a danger to anyone thanks to the legal environment in the US. Google tells people what they do and gives you a way to turn it off, apple tells you in fine print only but does not give you such an option.

Google is only as close to the concept of evil as the FUD against them. When people actually look at facts it's pretty abundantly clear that there are moneygrabs and competitors who want google's money, but not anything google has been found guilty of. When apple goes "we invented X" (even though they didn't) and sues google, does that mean google is questionable? Only if you believe fud like your post.

Re:That's a shock (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108581)

Slashdot seems full of anti-Slashdot shills who believe everyone there has an agenda, and believe no one there has any sense of objectivity.

FTFY.

Gahd, I despise knee-jerk prophets and shallow as a pane of glass philosophizers. If you have to think, think deeper.

Re:That's a shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108621)

Oh yeah, because you certainly rise above the man on the street with your post. [/rolling of eyes]

Re:That's a shock (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108869)

Slashdot seems full of anti-MS shills who are stuck in 1999.

I don't know if it's amusing or just pathetic.

I'll go with amusing. The whole point is just how much licensed intellectual property does a software company have to protect? They aren't exactly publishing lines of code in the articles. They don't even come up with clever names for products. We're talking Word, Office, Windows. What are all these people posting that requires take down notices? FYI there has always been far more people defending Microsoft on Slashdot than attack it. I'm a heretic with no real preference. Everyone attacks authors and bands for making money off old work so why not Microsoft? The last new product they released that was modestly successful was the Xbox. The bulk of their income comes from milking Windows and Office. They've sucked so hard on those cow's teats that they have calluses and the cow is practically inside out. If your stance is that you aren't bias then why are you defending them? What makes them less evil than the rest of the blood suckers? Bill Gates was once the richest man in the world largely due to running the biggest monopoly in computers. Not to mention all those nasty bits of code from other companies that kept finding it's way into Windows. I'm not attacking Microsoft I'm telling you to pry your eyes open and stop worshipping Microsoft. If you want to be noble rally around Linux. When's the last time that group issued a take down notice?

Re:That's a shock (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109527)

The XBox division is only successful if you ignore the vast amount of money spent to buy its market division.

Re:That's a shock (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108625)

Clippy: "It looks like you're writing a DMCA take-down notice..."

Broken. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108263)

The DMCA seems broken. No one can possibly deal with all those notices. They'd have to use an automated system or have an inconceivable amount of manpower on their hands. To top it all off, there are bound to be mistakes.

Copyright enforcement is just scary.

Re:Broken. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108741)

They'd have to use an automated system

"Works as intended".

Re:Broken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109457)

The DMCA seems broken.

Most of us figured that out 10+ years ago.

The lawsuit itself became a business case (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108283)

The real business case is no longer the software. As the article says, there are now dedicated companies who chase copyright issues. If they cannot find a copyright issue, they'll go bankrupt. If they find more copyright issues than last year (and win a few lawsuits), they'll make profit.

I guess that soon enough, we cannot change the copyright laws anymore, because the copyright-chasers would lose their revenues.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108377)

Well at least it keeps the circle round...

Stuff is too expensive so people pirate it -> they start adding more and more protections that cost tons of money (not to mention it makes the paying customer really frustrated) -> stuff is too expensive...

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108407)

Well at least it keeps the circle round...

Stuff is too expensive so people pirate it -> they start adding more and more protections that cost tons of money (not to mention it makes the paying customer really frustrated) -> stuff is too expensive...

If you really want to make the circle round, it should go like this:
Stuff is too expensive so people pirate it -> more and more anti-piracy lawsuits -> people start to pirate anti-piracy lawsuits

[/joke]

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (3, Interesting)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108393)

As the article says, there are now dedicated companies who chase copyright issues.

Yes, and doesn't that strike you as just plain sick?

It's interesting how many of these requests are received, but I couldn't easily find out how many of them were declined. Does anyone have a link to this information?

I did not RTFA, but I did read this [techdirt.com] , which seemed a good overall review of the features. It looks like a very nice thing for Google to put out.

That said, I'll stick with Ixquick, thanks.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108445)

I don't understand what you guys are complaining about. There is at least one, and often several, well-funded free alternative for most of Microsoft's hit products. I often see people posting here about how the FOSS rivals are *superior* to Microsoft's.

So shouldn't this be seen as a good thing? Instead of consumers moving in the wrong direction, breaking the law and using someone else's work without paying the asking price, maybe they'll check out Linux, Libre or OpenOffice, MySQL, etc.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108479)

That only works if you do business in a vacuum. If you never collaborate with world, are willing to train your employees from scratch on all of your software, and only ever have to produce hard copy output, then OSS can be a reasonable alternative.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108541)

A business should be able to afford $150 - $250 per employee for a license to MS Office. They usually buy PC's with Windows preinstalled.

I suppose a tiny business of 1-10 people might have financial issues, but then they can do what you describe with FOSS.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108899)

$150-$250, plus the labor cost for managing licenses, plus another $100 average at each upgrade cycle because installs do get lost, plus another $100 per employee when a "licensing expert" comes in and says your perfectly legal software really should have been purchased differently (despite the advice of the last expert) and it all now needs to be bought again through his particular favorite reseller.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109127)

Then use the FOSS alternative which is supposed to be superior anyway.

Hello? These convoluted arguments are a result of cognitive dissonance [wikipedia.org] :

- the BSA/RIAA/MPAA spend enormous resources attacking people who would never have bought their member companies' products anyway

- almost everything MS does is crap, or at best is no better than free alternatives which come with no strings attached

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108681)

I don't understand what you guys are complaining about. There is at least one, and often several, well-funded free alternative for most of Microsoft's hit products.

To be fair, I don't know what you're complaining about. From what I read, most of the bitching about IP maximalists I see is wrt MPAA and Hollywood's offerings, not software.

And for the record, I just noticed I didn't have [*]office installed here, but as of 15 minutes ago, now I do.

[*]Open. LibreOffice appears to be broken in Debian squeeze, drat. It works fine on my testing box.

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108843)

I see the problem as people are brought up using MS products. Although I'm a technical person and know about the alternatives not everyone I know is as lucky, I can only educate so many people at a time. Another issue is when something doesn't work the way a person expects because it's different from MS Word or Excel most people just give up. I have my launch menu on the right side of my screen, which drives people batty because they're use to seeing it on the bottom. I'm sure you can imagine the comments I get when someones trying to use Libre Office on my machine and can't find some feature because the icons are different.

MS has been training people for years to use MS products at work and home so they shouldn't be surprised when an average user can't afford $150-$250 license for their home machine and pirate it instead. Because most people stick with what they know of course they'll go out and pirate it.

I switched to Linux after my brand new laptop had a catastrophic failure trying to run Windows Vista. I bought the machine close to five years ago and it came with Windows XP, a sticker that said Vista ready and an upgrade deal. The problem was once Vista was installed the machine ran like crap, it hung during start-ups and shutdowns and often just randomly restarted or blue screened. I tried to downgrade back to XP, but was told I wasn't allowed and I'd have to buy a new license. I ended up with a developers copy of Windows 7 which ran fine on the machine until the developer period was up. I wasn't going to go and spend $200 on a Windows 7 license for a machine that was suppose to have windows on it, and had considered pirating a copy. Instead I installed Ubuntu, and more recently Linux Mint, now I run a pirated copy of Windows XP in VMWare to play games, which I consider legit because my machine came with XP so I've technically paid for it. I use Linux Mint and OSS for everything else. I installed Linux Mint on my wife's two year old computer when she start having problems with Vista. That lasted a week until she decided she needed a new computer to play her Facebook games.

Yes I was disgusted and had considered divorce, but then my daughter came along so I've decided to give up on my wife and focus my attention on training her. I'm so proud eight months old and she can already use my Android phone. *cry*

Re:The lawsuit itself became a business case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108587)

Im thinking that Microsoft signed a performance contract with these companies which is payed on a per notice basis. Essentially means that microsoft is losing just as much money as google is in regards to these takedowns.

How many false positives? (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108285)

It's interesting how many of these requests are received, but I couldn't easily find out how many of them were declined. Does anyone have a link to this information? It seems a bit surprising if there are not a single false positive in all those millions of requests. Is it the case that once someone asks for something to be taken down, Google cannot decline, even if the request is wrong?

Re:How many false positives? (4, Informative)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108373)

Never mind found it in the FAQ: they removed 97% of search results specified in requests received between July and December 2011. The cases they talk about declining to remove are a laugh.

Re:How many false positives? (2)

DarthBling (1733038) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109169)

Never mind found it in the FAQ: they removed 97% of search results specified in requests received between July and December 2011. The cases they talk about declining to remove are a laugh.

In case anybody is interested, I found the FAQ here [google.com] .

Here are a few examples of requests that have been submitted through our copyright removals process that were clearly invalid copyright removal requests.

        A major U.S. motion picture studio requested removal of the IMDb page for a movie released by the studio, as well as the official trailer posted on a major authorized online media service.
        A U.S. reporting organization working on behalf of a major movie studio requested removal of a movie review on a major newspaper website twice.
        A driving school in the U.K. requested the removal of a competitor's homepage from Search, on the grounds that the competitor had copied an alphabetized list of cities and regions where instruction was offered.
        A content protection organization for motion picture, record and sports programming companies requested the removal of search results that link to copyright removal requests submitted by one of their clients and other URLs that did not host infringing content.
        An individual in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to court proceedings referencing her first and last name on the ground that her name was copyrightable.
        Multiple individuals in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to blog posts and web forums that associated their names with certain allegations, locations, dates or negative comments.
        A company in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to an employee's blog posts about unjust and unfair treatment.

We did not comply with any of these requests.

Re:How many false positives? (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108395)

Under the DMCA, more-or-less. For a service provider to decline a DMCA notice means they can be potentially liable, so unless the content in question is of particually high value of the customer pays very well they have little incentive to even give the contents of the notice a glance. Take it down first, ask questions later.

Re:How many false positives? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108523)

I'm not sure whether or not they can decline. I think not. However, the proper procedure [creativecommons.org] for a takedown notice states that the person requesting the takedown must submit

5. A statement, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive right that is alleged to be infringed.

So while I'm sure that there are some false positives, there are some people that would submit things which weren't actually infringements, I think most people would think twice against submitting a takedown notice to Google that they knew was for non-infringing content. Google might send lawyers after them. Take down requests for non-infringing content may work to scare away the little guys, but I'm pretty sure Google ignores quite a few requests that don't follow proper procedures or that obviously aren't copyright violations.

Re:How many false positives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108637)

Google might send lawyers after them.

They might. But I doubt it.

but I'm pretty sure Google ignores quite a few requests that don't follow proper procedures or that obviously aren't copyright violations.

How could they? There are too many. Given that number of take down requests, there are very likely many false positives.

Re:How many false positives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108667)

Could be fun to set up a corporation to find abusive DMCA abusers and sue them.

All of file sharing domains now in one place! (5, Insightful)

ciantic (626550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108361)

Hey! On a related note now there is a list of all file sharing domains in one place: http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/domains/?r=all-time [google.com] - neatly organized.

Re:All of file sharing domains now in one place! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109179)

Short for: these are the websites you clearly *could* go to in order to find what you want to download. I'm surprised scrapetorrent isn't at the top of the list since it's a decent aggregator.

It is all about who stores it for sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108363)

Your pictures can be used in ads if it is on their computer even after you remove your account,

Welcome to free speech... (5, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108365)

... US-style.

Re:Welcome to free speech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108647)

Indeed: http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/domains/?r=all-time
You also get a nice little notice of DMCA that always include the link itself.

250,000 fingers in the dike a week (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108383)

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 that case, they'll win the war any day now.

non US search engines (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108449)

why isn't there a google alternative that is worth a damn, that isn't in the US, isn't hosted in the US and doesn't use a US-controlled TLD, and thus, not subject to this DMCA bullshit?

Re:non US search engines (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108789)

google.cn? [google.cn]

Re:non US search engines (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108909)

google.cn is owned by google, which is an american company.

Re:non US search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108817)

They'd find away around that, see: Megaupload

Re:non US search engines (2)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109159)

why isn't there a google alternative that is worth a damn, that isn't in the US, isn't hosted in the US and doesn't use a US-controlled TLD, and thus, not subject to this DMCA bullshit?

Here you go: Baidu [baidu.cn]

Wouldn't it be simpler.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108477)

..to just not index any page containing the term Microsoft? Just add it to the stopword list already.

Re:Wouldn't it be simpler.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108715)

And then Google finds itself facing both an anti-trust suit and millions of customers leaving it.

Thanks for the idea, but the lawyers say no, and the beancounters say HELL NO FYOU!

Re:Wouldn't it be simpler.. (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108917)

think of the children!

Re:Wouldn't it be simpler.. (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109105)

They would have to index Microsoft's domains, but since it can't easily be verified whether 3rd parties are respecting Microsoft's trademarks and licenses, excluding them is really the right thing to do.

Oddly enough... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108495)

2,544,152 of these were for "www.google.com"

Asking for predictions (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108569)

Can I get some best guesses as to what year the first shooting war between two modern corporations will take place?

It has to be a) an actual declaration of hostilities, with a competing facility being destroyed and b) there has to be human casualties (preferably employees of one of the corporations).

I'm setting the over/under at 2020. Winner gets paid in Bitcoin.

2001 only counts if you're a ronpaulie.

Numbers are BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108597)

Right, they receive 250,000 requests each week, and it takes 11 hours to deal with them. That means they need 68,750 people working 40 hours a week to handle it, or twice their total headcount.

I assume that they only reason they are processing these takedown notices at all is that there is a legal requirement in the DMCA for them to comply, probably within a few days.

Fred von Lohmann, as a lawyer, is completely full of shit. Either the numbers are not that high, or they do not take 11 hours to process.

Re:Numbers are BS (3, Insightful)

Geeky (90998) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108725)

That's 11 elapsed hours, not 11 hours to do the work. They have a backlog. Each one might only take five minutes to process, but they'll get to it, on average, 11 hours after it's reported.

Why doesn't Google play the same game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108601)

Google could hire twice the amount of firms like Microsoft is doing, and harass the hell out of Bing.

I actually appreciate this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108675)

As google posts all takedown notices to Chilling Effects, anytime I do a search I know I can visit the URLs in the CE document and get a real, valid DDL source about 98% of the time.

No surprise. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108743)

As apple has shown us over and over again, if you can't outdo your competition, go through legal channels to remove it.
I guess Microsoft thought it'd try it as well.

Before we collectively flip out about this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108775)

...could we at least CONSIDER that some of these claims might be legit?

Microsoft publishes a lot of software. It's expensive stuff. People pirate it. There are a lot of places on the internet you could go to get a copy of Windows for free. I'd expect there are a lot of legit sites that Microsoft is well within their rights to request takedown on.

How many of their requests are legit vs. "trying to silence our critics," I don't know. And neither do you.

Assuming all their claims are frivolous and Microsoft hates free speech is a little premature from the facts in evidence (which are pretty thin). I realize this is Slashdot, and they're Micr$oft, and we hate them, but c'mon.

What are the chances they are ALL legit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109021)

Now, given that the DMCA was NOT supposed to close down legit businesses, why should this illegal abuse of the system be accepted, even if most are right (which isn't what you're asking either)?

No equivalency in evilness between MS & Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40108883)

This sort of scamming is totally normal for MS. We do not see these sorts of scams from Google.

Where will I then get a Windows ISO (4, Interesting)

thue (121682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40108915)

Computers nowadays don't come with a Windows CD. So if a virus messes up my computer, what am I to do?

I have always downloaded a Windows ISO off the Pirate Bay, which I do with an entirely clean conscience, since I own a valid Windows Key, which Microsoft also checks when I actually install windows. Websites like the Pirate Bay is what makes it actually a tiny bit user-friendly to use Windows, in spite of Microsoft.

Re:Where will I then get a Windows ISO (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109601)

Computers nowadays don't come with a Windows CD.

I've bought two this year both came with a Win7 OEM DVD and a key, I had to 'remind' one sales guy that I was entiled to the half price OEM copy that comes with just about every motherboard, he wanted to sell me the retail version. I reminded him after we negotiate a price of course :)

Personally I wouldn't stick a cracked .iso on my machine. Now you can call me a shill if you like but you'd be wrong, I do my banking and work from home 2 days a week, my computers are my tools of trade and I simply don't trust a cracked O/S with the keys to my piggy bank, and I'm sure as hell my employer would take a dim view of it.

Moral of the story: Don't buy your PC from a department store and if you want a free O/S don't install some malware ridden windows .iso you found on TPB, there are plenty of free O/S's out there from reputable sources that are just as good (if not better) than windows..

Good faith? Good lord! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109225)

2,544,209 URLs that Microsoft has checked and confirmed in order to meet the good faith requirement of the DMCA.
Imagine the incredible number of jobs the copyright-infringement industry has created.

Why is Google responsible? (2)

Anonymous Cod (2647669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40109249)

Google is just a search engine. Shouldn't the take-down notices be sent to the website host instead? Let search engines just do what they are intended to do, which is locate content.

You can't search the Google list!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109301)

Google, the search engine company, has a list of 7000+ "owners" and it can't be searched - or even displayed on one page so I can search with my browser? I can only look 20 at a time? 350 pages?

1 week != 1 year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40109425)

When they get more take down requests in ONE WEEK than they did for the entire year of 2009, that implies that something is wrong. Is it the take down system, the copyright system, or the ones that decide to break the rules? Something is broken here.

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