Google Search removals due to copyright infringement FAQs
What is a copyright removal request?
How accurate is this information?
This data represents the information that people provide when they submit copyright removal requests through our web form. People may submit information that is inaccurate or fill out the web form incorrectly, and we're not always able to verify the accuracy of the request. For example, an individual who is submitting the request may report that they are based in one country when they really reside in another. The DMCA process requires a statement that the reporting organization must have a good faith belief that the use of the content in the manner specified is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. The submitter must also affirm under penalty of perjury that it is authorized to represent the owner of the copyright that is allegedly infringed.
At times we may display duplicate entries for copyright owners or reporting organizations. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case. For example, we may receive notices from different parts of a reporting organization, copyright owners and reporting organizations may use multiple ways to spell their names, or reporting organizations may choose to reference member companies as copyright owners in some cases but not others. Reporting organizations and copyright holders may also change their names.
Why do you remove some URLs but not others?
Does Google receive inaccurate or intentionally abusive copyright removal requests?
From time to time, we may receive inaccurate or unjustified copyright removal requests for search results that clearly do not link to infringing content. An independent third-party published an analysis of the frequency of improper and abusive removal requests in 2006. And a more recent study went into more depth about takedown processes generally.
Here are a few examples of requests that have been submitted through our copyright removals process that were clearly invalid copyright removal requests.
- A major U.S. motion picture studio requested removal of the IMDb page for a movie released by the studio, as well as the official trailer posted on a major authorized online media service.
- A U.S. reporting organization working on behalf of a major movie studio requested removal of a movie review on a major newspaper website twice.
- A driving school in the U.K. requested the removal of a competitor's homepage from Search, on the grounds that the competitor had copied an alphabetized list of cities and regions where instruction was offered.
- A content protection organization for motion picture, record and sports programming companies requested the removal of search results that link to copyright removal requests submitted by one of their clients and other URLs that did not host infringing content.
- An individual in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to court proceedings referencing her first and last name on the ground that her name was copyrightable.
- Multiple individuals in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to blog posts and web forums that associated their names with certain allegations, locations, dates or negative comments.
- A company in the U.S. requested the removal of search results that link to an employee's blog posts about unjust and unfair treatment.
We did not comply with any of these requests.
What is the DMCA?
Do you only comply with the DMCA? What about other copyright laws?
What is LUMEN?
Why do you provide data only for Google Search?
Is the data comprehensive?
This data presents information specified in requests we received from copyright owners through our web form to remove search results that link to allegedly infringing content. It is a partial historical record that includes more than 95% of the volume of copyright removal requests that we have received for Search since July 2011. It does not include:
- requests submitted by means other than our web form, such as fax or written letter
- requests for products other than Google Search (e.g, requests directed at YouTube or Blogger)
- requests sent to Google Search for content appearing in other Google products (e.g., requests for Search, but specifying YouTube or Blogger URLs).