Transport trademark sees Australian removal requests to Google spike

In the last six months of 2012, there was a rise in the number of content-removal requests from Australian government agencies to Google.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Australia was one of 20 countries to question whether the Innocence of Muslims video violated Google's community guidelines, but it was a complaint about the misuse of a transport agency's trademark that made up most of Australia's content-removal requests to Google in the last six months of 2012.

The controversial 14-minute trailer sparked protests across the Middle East and many other parts of the world, including in Australia, last year.

According to Google's latest transparency report for the six months ending December 31, 2012, YouTube's parent company Google temporarily restricted access to the video in Egypt and Libya, and it was restricted from view in Indonesia, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Turkey. Australia questioned whether the video was in breach of YouTube's community guidelines, but the video itself was not blocked.

There were 129 requests for removal of content from YouTube, up from nine in the first six months of 2012. There was a decline in the number of requests for the removal of content from web searches, down from 79 in the first half of 2012 to just three in the second half of 2012.

There were six court orders in the period from Australia for the request for content removal, and 10 requests from government agencies or law-enforcement bodies.

Google said it received a request from an unnamed "local transport agency" to remove 119 YouTube clips that were using a protected trademark without permission. Google removed these videos.

Editorial standards