Because every company with even just a three-legged rat in the copyright race basically just shotgun sprays Google for takedown requests these days, Microsoft accidentally but very hilariously asked Google to censor... Microsoft.com. That's got to be even worse than HBO giving Google a takedown request for VLC. Yeah, it's definitely worse.
The takedown request (and or self censorship, depending on your perspective) for Microsoft.com was sent by LeakID on behalf of Microsoft. What exactly is LeakID? Basically a glorified arm of Microsoft's censorship machine. TechDirt has found that LeakID pretty much does all of its takedown work for Microsoft. Which means, Microsoft is using its own dirty work guy to take care of... itself. Real next level thinking there.
Here are the Microsoft websites that Microsoft found offending, per TorrentFreak:
As you can see there are six different links that are "infringing" on Microsoft's copyright. That would be links for Microsoft's official store, Microsoft's official support page, Microsoft's official Office page and the main Microsoft.com page. None of them, as you would imagine judging by their "official"-ness, are actually infringing on anything. It's like those Coke suing Coke Zero commercials. Except real.
Thankfully for Microsoft, Google did Redmond a solid by spotting Microsoft's foolish error. Google has kept those Microsoft links in Google meaning those six links have avoided self-banishment to oblivion where other legitimately infringing links (and probably other non-infringing links too) have disappeared to.
If Microsoft can accidentally claim infringement against itself, who knows what other links have been wrongfully given the Internet equivalent of the death sentence. We know you're innocent! [TorrentFreak]
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson contacted us to give us more background in how this happened:
“We believe strongly in the effectiveness and the need for accuracy in the use of notice and takedown to address online infringement. To explain what happened here, Google’s online form requires identification of both the copyrighted content being infringed and the website address of the infringement. A vendor properly listed those six urls as Microsoft copyrighted content that was being infringed, but then inadvertently copied and pasted those same six urls in the field to identify the locations of infringement. This simple clerical error was identified and corrected right away, and we have taken steps to address the process to avoid it being repeated.”