The number of takedown orders that Google receives from governments, though, cannot even compare to the number of requests it fields from copyright owners to take down allegedly infringing material. Google doesn’t break down these requests along the same geographical lines, but just in the past month, the company has received requests from more than 3,000 copyright owners from around the world to remove more than 20,000,000 URLS from more than 36,000 domains. And like its electoral law, Brazil’s copyright law differs from American law here, too. Although there have been efforts to allow copyright holders to more easily ask for this material to be removed, Brazil doesn’t have the same notice-and-takedown procedures as the United States—the laws that allow copyright holders to ask Google thousands upon thousands of times to remove content from the Internet that they say violates their intellectual property rights. 

Disclosure: CJR has received funding from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to cover intellectual-property issues, but the organization has no influence on the content.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Sarah Laskow is a writer and editor in New York City. Her work has appeared in print and online in Grist, Good, The American Prospect, Salon, The New Republic, and other publications.