Google’s latest Transparency Report of June 2012 provides eye-opening information about the wide extent of content removal and censorship requests, and why businesses and entities need the services of legal transcription companies. The findings have been divided into government requests and requests based on copyright infringements. Much of the copyright infringement removal requests have been found to deal with file sharing domains, and have increased in the last six months.
Copyright Infringement Takedown Requests
Microsoft was the top copyright holder which requested takedowns. It had requested the removal of more than 2 million in the past one year of which 500,000 were in the last month alone. The other copyright takedown requests were from trade groups representing entertainment companies.
Government Takedown Requests
The United States ranks the highest in government takedown requests according to the Google report. Content pieces in excess of 6,000 were targeted among only 200 removal requests in the last six months. These requests include court orders as well as requests from law enforcement and government agencies.
Importance of Google’s Efforts in Publicizing the Information
In the light of these findings, Google’s efforts to make the information public become all the more significant. It gives more ammunition for various groups and the general public to resist and react to unreasonable takedown requests of governments of various nations and influential corporations.
Google noted that as always political speech was one of the major takedown request topics targeted by governments. However many of these requests were not from countries normally associated with restrictions on public awareness, but many Western democracies, proving that the right to knowledge and free speech are still being threatened.