Google sues people who “weaponized” DMCA to remove rivals’ search results —

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Google yesterday sued a group of people accused of weaponizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to get competitors’ websites removed from search results. Over the past few years, the foreign defendants "created at least 65 Google accounts so they could submit thousands of fraudulent notices of copyright infringement against more than 117,000 third-party website URLs," said Google’s lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

Another 500,000 URLs were also targeted, according to Google. "To date, Defendants’ scheme has forced Google to investigate and respond to fraudulent takedown requests targeting more than 117,000 third-party website URLs, as well as takedown requests targeting more than half a million additional third-party URLs that are likely fraudulent based on preliminary investigation," the lawsuit said.

Google filed the lawsuit against Nguyen Van Duc and Pham Van Thien, who are both said to live in Vietnam, and 20 defendants whose identities are unknown. Google alleged that the defendants "appear to be connected with websites selling printed t-shirts, and their unlawful conduct aims to remove competing third-party sellers from Google Search results."
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