SAN FRANCISCO – A snapshot of Microsofts apparently chronic copyright headaches emerged in new data that Google released last week to provide a better understanding of intellectual property abuses on the Internet.
The data dont identify the specifics of the reported infringements, but Microsoft Corp. confirmed that virtually all of its complaints are about websites offering bogus versions of its Windows operating system and other software.
Google Inc. has logged more than 2.5 million requests in the past 11 months to remove links believed to be violating Microsofts copyrights.
That ranked well above second-place NBC Universal, the operator of several television networks and a movie studio, whose copyrighted content was cited in nearly 1 million removal requests during the same period.
Each month, Microsoft requests the removal of links to web pages that infringe Microsofts copyrights so that customers are not deceived into purchasing or downloading counterfeit software, company spokesman Lou Gellos wrote in an email.
Google has a good vantage point on the issue because it operates the Internets dominant search engine. About 97 percent of the copyright removal requests sent to Google are found to be valid by the company, prompting the offending links to be blocked from its influential search results.
The new report includes a breakdown of all requests Google has received since July 2011 to remove copyright-infringing content from its search index.
Copyright-protected content owned by major music labels also spurred a high volume of removal requests.
The Recording Industry Association of America, which has railed against digital piracy since the rise and fall of Napsters music-sharing service more than a decade ago, was identified as the copyright owner in more than 416,000 requests.
Other copyright owners on Googles Top 10 list of removal requests include Universal Music and Sony Music and an adult entertainment site, BangBros.com.