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Microsoft's DMCA takedown blitz smells of Windows 8 censorship

colinneagle (2544914) writes | more than 2 years ago

Microsoft 0

colinneagle (2544914) writes "Out of the blue, a number of reputable online publications, including BetaNews, Hardware Canucks, PowerArchiver, NGOHQ, and Technize (among many others), received DMCA takedown orders from Google that claim on Microsoft’s behalf that the sites were infringing on various Microsoft copyrights.

There was something odd about the takedown orders, however. The URLs in questions contained things like screenshot galleries and news posts that simply linked to the trial editions and release previews of Windows 8. Many of the sites also hosted user-generated comments though, many of which were quite negative in regards to Windows 8, which sparked some heated discussion that this was a strategic move by Microsoft to get negative sentiments delisted by Google prior to Windows 8’s launch.

Compounding the problem, publications are assumed guilty until proven innocent in these situations. Once a DMCA takedown request is submitted, whether the URL in question actually contains questionable material or not, the URL is removed from Google’s search results, which will adversely affect the site’s traffic. The sites have to fill out a DMCA Counter Notification form to counter the original notice and simply hope for the best."

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