Microsoft breaks ties with company over its mistaken Google DMCA takedown requests

LeakID, on Microsoft's behalf, asked Google to remove the Wikipedia page for Office 2007 from its search results.

Microsoft has been caught sending out mistaken DMCA takedown requests to Google in the past, but this week the company decided to take some action after a French company, LeakID, made some rather embarrassing website removal requests on behalf of Microsoft last week.

TorrentFreak reports that LeakID had asked Google to remove sites from its search results that included several pages from Microsoft's own website, along with the Wikipedia page for Office 2007. Google, thankfully, figured out that LeakID's requests were not correct.

That was apparently the last straw for Microsoft in terms of working with LeakID on takedown requests. The story has a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson saying:

Microsoft is committed to ensuring that enforcement measures are appropriate and completely accurate. We are investigating the circumstances of this takedown and have instructed the vendor that it is no longer authorized to send notices on our behalf.

Google's own Transparency Report shows that Microsoft, or one of its third party companies like LeakID, have requested over 10 million URLs be removed from Google's search results in the past year, putting it in fifth place among the top companies that have made such pleas to the search site.

Source: TorrentFreak | Image via Wikipedia

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This is most telling in that there is the weasel clause that gets out of being punished for wrong take down notices. If this wasn't there then these scumbags could be prosecuted.

I doubt MS would prosecute them even if they could since they were a contracted vendor, unless of course they thought they could prove it was being done willfully and\or with the intent to harm.

I do agree that there should be repercussions for those submitting invalid requests, particularly so for blatantly invalid requests. Perhaps to the extent that future requests may be ignored by the same receiver for a period of time, at the moment there is very little down side to generating invalid, unauthorized, or otherwise erroneous take down requests en mass.

I think the blocking would be a good idea to get rid of bad contractors like this, but I have a feeling they would just appear again under a different name. Clearly they were just keyword searching and reviewing anything. It's really up to the companies like Microsoft to monitor them.

Monitoring these crooks would pretty much cancel out the whole point of delegating the interwebs monitoring to them in the first place.