Thursday, April 22, 2010

Google receives requests from IPL for removing content

Internet major Google has said it has received four content censorship requests this month from the Indian Premier League, the administrative body of the Twenty20 cricket tournament.

A total of five complaints were received in 2010 about certain websites carrying "illegal retransmission of the authorised feed, copyrighted content for which IPL is the owner", according to Google.

Out of the five, four complaints were made this month while one was made in March.

Interestingly, Google recently signed an agreement with IPL, wherein rights for live web coverage of matches have been given to YouTube, part of the internet major.

Google on Tuesday had named India at the third place among a list of nations from which it received maximum requests for censoring information.

The list, which was based on requests for removal of information made to Google between July 1 and December 31, 2009.

The complaints from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which owns IPL, have been listed on the website '', a project run by the US-based Berkman Center for Internet and Society, that tracks online restrictions on speech.

"Whenever we do remove content, we display a message for our users that X number of results have been removed to comply with local law and we also report those removals to," Google said in a blog post on Monday.

Last year, the BCCI had registered three complaints related to IPL, with Google.

The cash-rich IPL is now mired in controversy following allegations by IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi that Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor influenced the auction of an IPL franchise. Tharoor has since resigned saying he didn't want to be an embarrassment to the government, although he claimed doing no wrong.

Google said that it got maximum requests to censor information from Brazil (291), followed by Germany (188) and India (142).

Removal requests ask for removal of content from Google search results or from another Google product, including YouTube, Google had said in a statement.

"For Brazil and India, requests for content removal are high relative to other countries in part because of the popularity of our social networking website, orkut. The majority of the Brazilian and Indian requests for removal of content from orkut relate to alleged impersonation or defamation," the statement noted.

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