As a leading conduit of internet activity, online search pioneer Google has found itself in the role of copyright enforcement agent in recent years as digital pirates continue to craft more elaborate and damaging plots. In the latest Google Transparency Report, the company has provided extensive detail on both the volume and source of requests it receives asking for infringing material to be taken out of search results.
In the inaugural edition of the report, published in 2010, the scope of the analysis was restricted to content takedown requests submitted by government regulators. This year, the document has been expanded to discuss the involvement of private companies as well.
"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," Google senior copyright counsel Fred von Lohmann wrote in a related company blog post. "Fighting online piracy is very important, and we don't want our search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws."
According to the Washington Post, Microsoft has become a surprising benefactor of its rival firm's aggressive copyright enforcement. The software manufacturer has submitted more content removal requests than any other intellectual property owner, according to the report, with NBC Universal and the Recording Industry Association of America following closely behind.