September 25, 2016

Google Updates Transparency Report on Copyright Removals

Google released today an updated Transparency Report on their copyright removal requests from Google search results. These requests come from copyright owners who claim that sites linked to in Google search results are violating copyright laws. Often these pages are auto-scraped exact copies of a site trying to steal Google visits and ad clicks.

“The report hasn’t changed much since 2012 and was getting a little rusty,” posted Google’s Manager of Public Policy & Government Relations, Jess Hemerly. “So today, we’re releasing a new version of the report that makes it easier for you to understand the data.”

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Here are the changes that Google noted:

  • Examples of removal requests, similar to the annotations we added to government requests to remove content last year. These illustrate the range of things we’re asked to remove and the decisions we make in response.
  • A new Explore the Data page, which lets you search the database of removal requests and see a more detailed list of reporting organizations, domains, and copyright owners.
  • An explanation of how copyright notice and takedown is applied to Google Search, which we hope leads to a better overall understanding of the process.

Google also made some earlier changes to other sections of the Transparency Report according to Hemerly:

  • In late July, we published the data on government requests for user data for the second half of 2015. We coupled this update with a blog postabout some of the recent advances in surveillance reform, including the Judicial Redress Act and the EU-US Privacy Shield.
  • At the beginning of August, we added added YouTube and Calendar to ourHTTPS Report Card, continuing to show our progress toward secure connections for people across our products. Learn more about YouTube’s efforts on the YouTube Engineering blog.
  • A few weeks ago, we updated the government requests to remove content section with data for the second half of 2015. The data show an upward trend in governments asking us to remove content from our products and services, with content on YouTube, Search and Blogger cited most frequently.

From July to December 2015, the top three products for which governments requested removals were YouTube, Web Search, and Blogger.