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Friday, May 25, 2012

The interweb is not so free

We have already seen Police crackdown on offences on Twitter, now this news item in today's Guardian reminds us that not everything we can access through search engines is available free of charge.

They say that Google is receiving more than a million requests a month from copyright owners seeking to pull their content from the company's search results. The number requests has grown so fast that it now often tops 250,000 a week, more than Google received for all of 2009:

Lohmann said the dramatic rise had come with the growth of "enforcement vendors", which police the internet looking for copyright violations. The largest submitter of requests for removals was Marketly, which serves the software industry, followed by Degban, which works with pornographers.

Filestube.com, a search site dedicated to finding downloadable files such as audio, video and documents, was the most targeted website. It was followed by torrentz.eu, a file sharing site. Marketly was by far the largest reporting organisation, making close to 2.2m requests since June 2011. It was followed by NBC Universal, which made 985,905 requests over the same period.

In a blogpost, von Lohmann wrote: "Fighting online piracy is very important, and we don't want our search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws. So we've always responded to copyright removal requests that meet the standards set out in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). At the same time, we want to be transparent about the process so that users and researchers alike understand what kinds of materials have been removed from our search results and why."

Not all of these requests are legitimate though. Although Google comply with 97% of the requests there are instances where the complainant is trying it on.
The instances where "the complainant is trying it" could be as high as 96%

Nice 'cottage industry', maybe I should look into it.

IP lawyer from Wales with a DC law firm.
There are large areas of the internet which Google and other regular search engines do not reach.
Of the more than 300 terrabyes of information on the web maybe as much as 100 Tb is "not visible" to the standard search engines.
Of course there are other search engines which will dig deep into this dark area. Users beware!
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