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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Microsoft Demands Google to Block News Sites

The software giant appears to become censorship crazy – it is asking the search engine to remove links to news content. Microsoft has been dashing off censorship request to Google to remove BBC, Wikipedia, and CNN stories.

The number of DMCA takedown requests issued by the rights owners has rocketed within the last period and it seems that some of them are abusing the process. Actually, they may do it not on purpose: a lot of copyright owners prefer using automated systems to warn the search engine and other portals of the copyright violations, but this method doesn’t always work properly.

For instance, the software giant insisted that Google linked to dozens of pages assisting the illegal distribution of Windows 8 Beta. However, it turned out that almost half of the links which the engine was asked to take down had nothing to do with Microsoft’s new OS. Instead, the requests mentioned such portals as Wikipedia, Washington Post, BBC, and even the US Government, along with the less known sites. It turned out that the pages were complained about only because they had a reference to the number 45. Such prominent services as the BBC and Wikipedia were lucky – Google appeared to have white-listed a few domains, including theirs. However, less popular services, including AMC Theatres and RealClearPolitics, still have their pages unavailable through the Google search.

In other words, it all came to the situation when Microsoft and other representatives of the content industry are automatically censoring things in the web, without absolutely no one to hold them liable for what they are doing. The experts believe that some ambulance chasing lawyer might launch a mega-class action against the entertainment industry and succeed.

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