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Microsoft claims ownership of the number 45, asks Google to censor the US government and Bing

From Cory Doctorow at Boingboing (h/t Wendy McElroy). I can’t tell whether this is a copyright or trademark claim, but in any case I don’t know why people would whine about this—after all, there are an infinite number of numbers, enough for everyone to own one! In fact, there are enough numbers available for everyone to own an infinite number of them! (h/t Rudy Rucker).

A series of monumentally sloppy, automatically generated takedown notices sent by Microsoft to Google accused the US federal government, Wikipedia, the BBC, HuffPo, TechCrunch, and even Microsoft Bing of infringing on Microsoft’s copyrights. Microsoft also accused Spotify (a music streaming site) of hosting material that infringed its copyrights. The takedown was aimed at early Windows 8 Beta leaks, and seemed to target its accusations based on the presence of the number 45 in the URLs. More from TorrentFreak’s Ernesto:

Unfortunately this notice is not an isolated incident. In another DMCA notice Microsoft asked Google to remove a Spotify.com URL and on several occasions they even asked Google to censor their own search engine Bing.

The good news is that Google appears to have white-listed a few domains, as the BBC and Wikipedia articles mentioned in the DMCA notice above were not censored. However, less prominent sites are not so lucky and the AMC Theatres and RealClearPolitics pages are still unavailable through Google search today.

As we have mentioned before, the DMCA avalanche is becoming a bigger problem day after day.

Microsoft and other rightsholders are censoring large parts of the Internet, often completely unfounded, and there is absolutely no one to hold them responsible. Websites can’t possibly verify every DMCA claim and the problem will only increase as more takedown notices are sent week after week.

Microsoft DMCA Notice ‘Mistakenly’ Targets BBC, Techcrunch, Wikipedia and U.S. Govt

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Dan October 15, 2012, 9:45 pm

    Arent DMCA takedowns signed under penalty of perjury? Microsoft could be in serious trouble for this.

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