Monday, November 13, 2006

How to get material removed from the Google Groups usenet archive.

I recently had to complain to Google about some Usenet posts which were archived as web pages on their Google Groups service. After a lot of running around I finally got this email from Google which explains exactly how to request the removal of posts.

I hope other people will find it useful and save some time trying to get material removed from the archive.


Thank you for your note.
To request that we remove information from our service because that information violates your rights under the laws of your country, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. If you're not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest you seek the advice of an attorney.


Please use the following format (including section numbers):

1. Identify precisely the Google website where the information above appears (for instance, Google.fr). This is required because each website is governed by the specific laws of the country with which it is associated.

2. Identify your country or countries of residence and citizenship.

3. Identify precisely the information that you claim violates your rights under applicable law (the "Unlawful Material").

FOR WEB SEARCH, YOU MUST IDENTIFY EACH SEARCH RESULT THAT DIRECTLY LINKS TO A WEBPAGE THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTAINS UNLAWFUL MATERIAL. This requires you to provide (a) the search query that you used, and (b) the URL for each allegedly unlawful search result. (Note that the URL for each search result appears in green on the last line of the description for that search result.)

For example, suppose you conducted a search on Google.com using the query [ Google ], and believed that the third and fourth results directly linked to a webpage that violated your rights under applicable law. In such a case, you would provide the following information:

Search Query: Google
Allegedly Illegal Webpages:
http://www.illegalexample.com/illegal_stuff/illegal_page.html
http://www.illegalexample.com/illegal_stuff/illegal_page_2.html

FOR GOOGLE GROUPS, YOU MUST IDENTIFY THE MESSAGE ID OF EACH MESSAGE THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTAINS INFRINGING MATERIAL. When viewing the article you wish to have suppressed, click the "show options" link near the top, click the "Show original" link, and look for the information between two brackets <> next to Message ID. Copy and paste the content of that line (the information between brackets) into your complaint.

4. Identify in sufficient detail the reason that you believe the information indicated above violates your rights or is illegal under applicable law. For example, "Each of the search result URLs identified above contains child pornography that is not permitted under the laws of the country in which I reside or am a citizen."

5. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).

6. Provide information sufficient to permit Google to notify the owner/administrator of the webpage that allegedly contains the Unlawful Material (webmaster or domain registrant name and email address).

7. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that the information specified above is not permitted by applicable law."

8. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate."

9. Sign the paper.

10. Send the written communication to the following address:

Google Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
USA

Or fax to:

+1(650)963-3255, Attn: Google Legal Support

Please note that a copy of each legal notice we receive is sent to a third-party partner for publication and annotation. As such, your letter will be forwarded to Chilling Effects (http://www.chillingeffects.org ) for publication. You can see an example of such a publication at http://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?NoticeID=3155. A link to your published letter will be displayed in Google's search results in place of the removed content.

Regards,
The Google Team

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