Odd That Microsoft Demands Google Take Down Links That Remain In Bing

from the how-about-that... dept

We just wrote about Google's very cool, new copyright transparency tool, which lets you dig into the details of all the search takedowns that Google gets. As people start to play around with the site, some interesting things are coming to light. Lots of people noticed that the number one copyright holder requesting takedowns from Google search was... Microsoft. While some have suggested this is an attempt by a competitor to worsen Google's search rankings, that's difficult to believe for a variety of reasons. If Microsoft were issuing bogus takedowns, that would certainly come to light pretty quickly.

However, what is interesting is that you can use the new system to play around and notice that Microsoft doesn't always seem to take down from its search engine, Bing, the same links that it orders Google to takedown. As we noted in our original post, there's been plenty of talk suggesting that Google isn't fast enough in taking down things upon DMCA request, but the company claims that they average less than 11 hours -- and considering that they're processing over 1 million takedowns per month (and are checking them by hand), that's pretty impressive. How long does it take Microsoft to take content down?

Well, you would think that if Microsoft is sending a takedown notice to Google to remove a site from its search engine, that it's almost certainly letting Bing know to remove it too, right? Why wouldn't it. But if you do some digging, you can find sites that Microsoft has ordered taken down from Google, but which are still available via Bing. Here's just one example. If you look through Google's transparency report, there's a specific search takedown request that was filed on May 11, so not too long ago. You can see the full ChillingEffects notice here as well. The takedown was sent, on behalf of Microsoft, by a company called Marketly, who appears to send a large number of takedowns, according to the Google data. In this case, Marketly had sent a takedown to Google demanding the removal of a bunch of URLs from its index concerning a variety of XBox 360 games, including DiRT 2. The 20th URL listed goes to a page on TorrentRoom.

Now, if you take that URL and put it into Google and Bing, you get two very different responses. First, there's Google:
Okay. As per the takedown, clearly Google has removed that URL from its index. Now how about Microsoft:
Whoops! There it is. Now, it seems pretty reasonable to assume that if Marketly is sending a takedown to Google to get such a link taken out of its search engine, on behalf of Microsoft, that it quite likely is issuing the same kind of takedown to Microsoft's Bing (hell, you'd perhaps think that Microsoft could just pull the link without a takedown). And yet... the site, which Microsoft supposedly wants to disappear, is gone from Google, but found easily on Bing.

This would suggest that, either Marketly and Microsoft decide to leave up certain infringing content on Microsoft's own search engine while taking it down from Google... or that Microsoft certainly isn't that fast at doing removals. And yet, why don't we hear the people who always bitch about Google complaining about Microsoft?

Of course, the data is also revealing some other interesting "issues" with Microsoft's takedowns. Kurt Opsahl, for example, noticed that Microsoft sent Google a takedown, you can view here, which claims that previous takedown notices, also from Microsoft, are in fact, infringing. This one was also sent by "Marketly" and suggests that they don't do much research to make sure the sites are legitimately infringing before issuing takedowns.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 5:12am

    This is hysterical.
    They always are screaming how Google needs to do more, spend more, more more more for them... but one of the largest takedown submitters seems to have forgotten they have their own search engine.
    Of course it can't be because they are being slow, so that people will migrate to Bing to find things that were Google wiped. That would be so hypocritical and highlight that the process is a complete and total joke.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:14am

    I still don't understand why search engine providers need to police their own site to satisfy the demands of a third-party. Just who owns, operates and pays for the website, anyway?

    BTW, can anyone name some good alternative search engines to the Google/Yahoo/Bing trifecta of censorship?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Digitari, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:16am

    Re:

    Like anyone wants to piss off M$, they will just backdoor your windows and remove your product code(s)...



    /s but still............... :)

     

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  4.  
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    jcollake (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 5:23am

    tracking

    Microsoft can track who clicks on it when found through their search engine ... something you may want to consider. Although they've never gone after end users before, who knows what the future holds.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Perhaps personalized search engines run from your own computer will be the wave of the future. I recall awhile back something called FileFerret/WebFerret or something along those lines.

     

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  6.  
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    artp (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Don't look at the man behind the curtain!

    I'm sure that they don't want you peeking at the reports on chillingeffects that tell you exactly what they are trying to do.

    Not only is it illegal to look at stuff that they broadcast over the public airwaves, and illegal to point to where you can find it, it is now illegal to know anything about the previous two [CENSORED].

    I know it's true. I read it in the DMCA.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:31am

    could there be some jealousy/favoritism at play here? the old,

    dont do what i do, do what i say?
    or
    what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander?

     

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  8.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    In which case, the gander should be shot and cooked.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    I use this - https://startpage.com/

    It's a good secure browser

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, search engine

     

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  11.  
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    William (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 5:46am

    Cached links from Google in Bing?

    Any possibility this result in Bing was actually an old (pre-takedown) result from Google that was subsequently cached by Bing?

    Wouldn't that be rich irony!

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 5:55am

    Re:

    try duckduck go

     

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  13.  
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    JustSomeGuy, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:00am

    Err, MS don't have to notify Bing, do they? The fact that Bing simply scrapes Google to get their search results means that, shortly after it disappears from Google, it will also disappear from Bing, no?

    :-)

     

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  14.  
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    RigDaMig, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    WOw

    OK yeah that makes a lot of sense dude.
    Privacy-Nerds.tk

     

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  15.  
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    blaperblaop, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    The links Microfost wants google to remove are direct links to pirated Microsoft software. If Microsoft wants to leave those links in Bing, that's their business. I would imagine it's to track the people who go to those sites to pirate their software. They would haev to pay google to get this information.

     

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  16.  
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    Pixelation, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Permission

    I think this is Microsoft's way of giving you permission to download it as long as you do it through Bing.

     

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  17.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    Track how?

     

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  18.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    Re: Permission

    What else do you expect them to do when not even bribing people with money will make them use your search engine cause it stinks so much? This is a new round of incentives.

     

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  19.  
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    BingBing, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    Could be that Bing has so few users that it doesn't really matter to Microsoft whether the links are up there or not.

     

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  20.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:15am

    Re: tracking

    Although they've never gone after end users before, who knows what the future holds.

    Actually... anytime I go to pirate Microsoft software from now on, I'm now going to do both Bing and Google searches. If I can find something that Google has removed due to a complaint by Microsoft, and that same result is still available in Bing, I'll document it and download it.

    If Microsoft decides to sue me, I'll point this out. Since it appears that Microsoft's search engine is directing people to downloads of Microsoft's product, it is a reasonable assumption that Microsoft is supporting the distribution of their software via that means.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Re:

    I know I have never used it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Re:

    Google indexes somewhere in the range of 50 billion websites. The bandwidth, storage, and computational resources to do that is massive (to understate it). I'd like you to do the same from your computer.

     

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  23.  
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    Overcast (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    If Microsoft decides to sue me, I'll point this out. Since it appears that Microsoft's search engine is directing people to downloads of Microsoft's product, it is a reasonable assumption that Microsoft is supporting the distribution of their software via that means.

    That's a good point actually... So since an 'official' Microsoft site is in fact pointing us there...

     

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  24.  
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    Overcast (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Err, MS don't have to notify Bing, do they? The fact that Bing simply scrapes Google to get their search results means that, shortly after it disappears from Google, it will also disappear from Bing, no?

    Yes, another interesting thought - which would possibly be a violation of Google's terms of use. Assuming they are scraping it - they are indeed using it then.

    This might make for a very interesting experiment with these take downs - I wonder if it will still be there in a couple days... on bing.

     

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  25.  
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    Pitabred (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    The cynicism in me starts to wonder if there are nefarious uses of DMCA takedowns by Microsoft, poisoning Google's results so Bing gives better information...

     

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  26.  
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    Greg G, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    Re: tracking

    Just because I click on it, doesn't mean I download it.

    Therefore, any notices I get about downloading infringing content will be sent back with a picture of a middle finger.

     

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  27.  
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    Mega1987 (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Quote

    I qoute Lelouche vi Britannia:

    "If the king does not lead, how can he expect his subordinates to follow?"

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    And the reason bing wont take them down, is becuase they are fully aware, that they'd lose some of their customers

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Michael, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re:

    "Google indexes somewhere in the range of 50 billion websites. The bandwidth, storage, and computational resources to do that is massive (to understate it). I'd like you to do the same from your computer."

    According to what I read, WebFerret is a search robot which you can run from your computer. But maybe it still gets all its results from search engines. I don't know the particulars.

    If ever there's going to be decentralized web search functionality, now's the time for willing parties to take a shot at it. We can ill-afford to depend on one or two sites to filter through all content.

    BTW, thanks guys for posting those alternative search engines.

     

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  30.  
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    Richard (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re:

    I'd like you to do the same from your computer.

    I don't need to do it on my own - we can all gang together...

    http://yacy.net/en/

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Dr. Evil, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    @That Anonymous Coward sed "but one of the largest takedown submitters seems to have forgotten they have their own search engine"

    what? maybe they are like everyone else who didn't know it existed. quick research... google 'largest takedown submitters google' response 'microsoft' google 'microsoft search engine' response 'bing' ... whats this 'bing' thing? To those around me .. no response... never heard of it, never used it. great links to software, you need to try it! can I get an app for that?

     

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  32. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    Keep writing these articles that your pirate fan base loves, Mike. Yeah, we can't tell how much you love piracy. It's so impossible to tell. You're hiding it soooo well.

     

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  33.  
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    candide08 (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Microsoft slow or non-responsive??

    Surely you jest.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Permission

    Nah

    I like google, but bing aint that bad a tool, just dont trust the people running it is all

    Dont blame the tool

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Permission

    Nah

    I like google, not as much used to though, but bing aint that bad a tool, just dont trust the people running it is all

    Dont blame the tool, blame the people missusing it

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Permission

    sorries

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    Ive been using bing more often, as i cant seem to find stuff on google as easy as i seem to remmeber, could be my imagination, could be new search algorithm, or it could be the site take downs, which i doubt, as im not looking for infringing material

    Ill tell you one thing, when bing starts to take down the same links that google are forced to take down, and i start noticing the same "empty internet effect" im noticing on google, over these recent times, gues what, i wont be using bing anymore........

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Permission

    what if they're all tools?

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:02am

    By overwhelming Google with take down requests MS is able control its copyrights and knowledge base. MS wants you to only be able to access MS info and product through MS channels. While this tactic in not explicitly illegal it does stink of censorship, collusion, monopoly, and other practices that stifle innovation, fair use, and free markets.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    His will be done

    Every resource should be diverted untill this "piracy" *spits* is sorted out, then we can concentrate on the smaller, less important things, like murder, no wait, jay walking, yeah jay walking, my bad, jay walking is almost as distructive as murder.....no wait i mean piracy........no wait, no, yeah i mean piracy.....is that what i mean????

    And the rrrrrealy small matters such as government corruption, well, theres no harm done, its not hurting anyone in a physical sense..........not unlike piracy

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    Not to mention microsofts patent*spits* win over motorola and their ban on motorola/android phones, googles newest aquisition

     

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  42.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Quick Microsoft, Bing is infringing your copywrongs! SUE THEM INTO OBLIVION!!!! Oh wait...

     

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  43.  
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    hasmatt, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Speaks volumes

    This is probably the clearest statement from Microsoft that Bing is an irrelevant search engine, except apparently if you're searching for infringing content.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    Nah they'll probably use the officialy goverment approved method of sabotaging competion

    Patents

    Microsoft should sue bing and reward themselves millions

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    Bing, a pirates haven

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Makes me wonder how many strings microsoft are pulling in the background

    I hope none, because if they are, then they've become extremely good at covering their tracks, i mean they've potentially had a long time to practice

     

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  47.  
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    Ninja (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re:

    u mad, bro?

     

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  48.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re:

    So if they're tracking people who go to pirate sites presumably to sue them (or threaten and settle) wouldn't it be more profitable to make the pirate link rank above the legit links so they can shakedown the pirates?

     

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  49.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Permission

    Then you have a massive Tool problem. You'll need to get some nails, duct tape and a chihuahua.

     

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  50.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re:

    And if they leave those links in Bing it sorta cuts the legs out from them screaming how the internet is robbing them blind and Google only profits by keeping those links available.

    Pay Google to get information that Google does not offer...

    Searching for information isn't a crime.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Dont you know sharing is wrong

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    there should be a new word for sharing like

    bad wrong

    or?

    Anyone

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    duckduckgo.com/about.html

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Without knowing your level of technology understanding I can't begin to know if you are just being funny with your "track how?" statement. But under the assumption that you don't have much knowledge of the HOW of IT's ability to track you on the internet, let me just say that tracking you is extremely easy to do.
    The hard part would be knowing the actual person behind the keyboard, but there is some pretty interesting tech out there and even better stuff on the horizon (using analysis methods) that will with a high degree of certainty allow a company or investigator to fairly accurately tell who is using a computer. Sort of like criminal profiling techniques. Couple that with the fact that your IP can be tracked (even if you try to mask it through a proxy) and one of these days, it will be nothing for companies like Google to determine with relative ease who you are, where you are and where you've been on the internet.

     

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  55.  
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    Jesse (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    If only Bing would just copy Google's search results, life would be so much easier.

    Oh wait:
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2011/02/google-catches-bing-copying-microsoft-s ays-so-what/

     

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  56.  
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    Bayan Rafeh (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    Duckduckgo is a pretty decent alternative

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    At 250k takedown requests per week, how long before search engines only list sites related to the old legacy industries.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Re:

    If you get your way, mother's will no longer teach their kids to share.

     

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  59.  
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    BigTuna, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Maybe they know that no one uses Bing so it's not worth the time to remove the links.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    duck duck go

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
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    Spock, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Thats BS

    The consumer suffers, not getting access to all resources available. Id like to see this type of junk disappear. LoL

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Remember folks sharing is fine, until it becomes to efficient

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "there should be a new word for sharing like

    bad wrong

    or?

    Anyone"

    Badong

    Yes. Sharing is Badong

     

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  64.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sharing is Badonkeconk.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Remember..., May 25th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Oh but remember why they're in business???

    Anyone remember why they're even in business?? They started by PIRATING and stealing ideas and software themselves! LOL now theyre so against it? Worst type of company on the planet...

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Microsloth!

    (I'm stunned no one's made the joke yet...)

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

    +1 point for Linux

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
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    Khaim (profile), May 25th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Huh?

    Wait wait wait...

    Microsoft owns a search engine?!?

     

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  69.  
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    Tulio, May 25th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    DuckDuckGo is known to not censor, and not save user data

     

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  70.  
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    Tycoonier, May 26th, 2012 @ 12:18am

    Google do, but its much easier to satisfy a simple request than go to court about it, eh? In my opinion next time MS ask for them to take down a website they turn round and say "Bugger off and delete the links you have on YOUR site" because why should they comply if MS wont comply.

     

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  71.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm just wondering how M$ will know if I actually downloaded the software after I clicked on a search link on Bing to a forum that has infringing copies.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: tracking

    At which time they'll remove the result and you try and prove that it ever existed.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    duckduckgo.com

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re:

    to the best of my knowledge that line refers to sauces put on already ex-geese.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    whoops. that was me.

    the old 'claim your posts' thing is no longer about it seems?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Kamari Kim, May 26th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    duckduckgo seems to be a common one people use

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), May 26th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    duckduckgo all the way, no page 2 of results - just keep scrolling till you find what you're after. Clean, simple yet useful search engine where the ads aren't unrelentingly served up to you. Google suck but Bing is even worse . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anas, May 27th, 2012 @ 3:55am

    Response to: Michael on May 25th, 2012 @ 5:14am

    duckduckgo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Jeroen, May 28th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Good searchengines are DuckDuckGo (partially based on Bing) and ixquick.com

    From a privacy and interface point of view miles ahead

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    jackn, Feb 11th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Its true

    I have submitted request to both google and Bing. Bing is nowhere. They are stuck in the ms philosophy, so nothing gets done and they stay stuck in loser land.

    I dont think ms want to take results from bing cause the don't have many results to begin with.

    Anyway, if you are looking for pirated software, BING is the way to go. Esp if you want android pirated software. Bing seems to high light that because they don't want to show the official google play properties.

    Anyway (again), ms is will be gone within a few years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    kalei murdock, Oct 15th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

    bing vs. google

    id rather use google thats what ive grown up on using. google is the best search engine there is

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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