News hit the wire that Microsoft filed a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notice against itself. Last week the software giant asked Google to remove multiple Microsoft webpages from its search engine result pages for infringing Microsoft copyrights. The news highlights the danger of using automatic tools to generate DMCA takedown requests as they often cast a wide net that results in false infringement claims.
This wasn't a case of internal idiocy or revenge, and it's also not quite as amusing as it may appear at first glance. Instead, it highlights the harmful way copyright holders use automatically generated DMCA takedown requests to try to scrub the net of pirated content, casting a wide net that often ensnares innocent webmasters with false infringement claims.
If a copyright holder feels that a particular website is ripping off its work, it can send Google a DMCA takedown request and ask for the infringing site to be removed from the search engine. If Google determines that the site does indeed stomp on the copyright holder's intellectual property rights, the site's links disappear from Google Searches. So far, so good, right?