Microsoft Accidentally Sent A DMCA Takedown Notice Against Wikipedia, HuffPo, TechCrunch, CNN, Etc.

In the last year, Microsoft asked Google to censor around 5 million websites because they link to copyright infringing content.  For the most part the automated requests are legitimate, but Microsoft accidentally sent a DMCA take-down notice to Google to have links from the BBC, CNN, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Wikipedia, and many other websites.

This means that there is a problem with automated systems for DMCA take-down notices.  Microsoft’s intention was to prevent unauthorized distribution of Windows 8 Beta and they listed 65 infringing websites.  Nearly half of those URLs that Google was asked to remove have nothing to do with Windows 8 though.

Microsoft’s automated filter attempted to censor AMC, BBC, Buzzfeed, CNN, TechCrunch, Rotten Tomatoes, ScienceDirect, Washington Post, Wikipedia, etc.  It appears that the automated filter flagged page titles that have the number “45” in them.  Microsoft’s automated filter even asked Google to filter their own search engine,

Google white-listed some websites like Wikipedia and the BBC, but AMC Theatres and RealClearPolitics websites were unavailable through the Google search engine as of today.  Below are some of the websites that were flagged.


This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
Leave a Comment