What? Does not compute.
You're assuming that their law firm sent Bing the takedown request of which there is no evidence. Also, they're completely within their rights to host links of which they own copyright on their own search engine.
They don't own a copyright on the torrentroom link (for example). There is no copyright in a regular URL¹.
They apparently own the content linked to. But then I own the content of my house that the road network is linked to and that doesn't mean the local government is party to people taking my stuff without asking.
Links may be made unlawful but they're not copyright infringements. IMO they're not even contributory.
¹ It may be possible to craft a URL that has sufficient distinctiveness and artistic merit to acquire a copyright but I can't ever recall seeing one or hearing of one. A URL could be a trademark infringement of course.
If there was a search engine out there that had 10 uniques per month would you expect people to care enough to send take-down notices to them? So where do you draw the line... for some people, you draw it between Google and Bing, not below them both.
This is interesting though, when I saw the headline about Microsoft making so many takedown requests to Google I assumed the items to be taken down were found by the Bing team, but it seems that isn't the case.
So the fact that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing is probably quite accurate in this case.
Maybe MS agrees with the Pirate mantra that piracy doesn't hurt, but help sales. What would happen if pirates, even casual pirates learned that Bing results weren't filtered but Google's were? I would suspect a massive uptake in usage if this was proven. And who are these pirates? They're the most geeky of your friends, the ones who influence and tutor the non-tech savvy about what tech products and services to use (Bing, Windows, Office etc.)
Crazy? Probably. But still fun to consider. Too bad MS is too big, slow and traditional to do something this radical.
Even if they lose some sales to piracy, as long as network effect work to their advantage, it's worth to lose it to a free version of their product than to a competitor.
It's unsurprising if they turn a blind eye to piracy when they judge it benefits them.
Having said that, this looks a lot like incompetence, or a contractor that's being paid to issue takedown notices only to Google.
So think about this. You've seen it applied to both genders. How is it applied to men? "Whiny little bitch"; "I'm gonna make you my bitch"; "Suck it, bitch"; "Stop bitching ..." Here's what those phrases mean to people, not in the past but today: "you're acting like a weak, pathetic woman"; "I'm going to sexually dominate you like a woman".
How is it applied to women? "Stop your bitching." "Shut up, bitch." "She's such a bitch." Can you guess how those ones come across? "Shut up, stop complaining, and smile the way you're supposed to." "I own you; do what I say." "She doesn't act the way women should."
Right now (if you're not a terrible person :) you're already typing "that's not what it means when I say it!" And I sorta believe you, and that's great. But there's a reason that if you stop using "bitch," you won't have a good word to replace it. "Bitch" is a powerful, useful word exactly because it's great for calling men women, and telling women to stay in their place. Those messages hit hard, because it hasn't been very long since women were literally property, so having a quick way to hit someone with them comes in handy. And you don't get to choose how people hear your words -- when you use it, that's what's lurking right under the surface, and it's what a lot of people will hear.
Go ahead and keep doing it if that's your thing. Even try to reclaim it. But some of us are going to think you're just another schmuck blindly supporting the idea that men are one way and women are another way and men should be in charge of women. I haven't used the word "offensive" here, because that makes it all about me. I'm not offended.* It doesn't matter if I'm offended. What matters is that words promote ideas, and the word "bitch" promotes a stupid idea, and you might not want to do that.
* (Offended is such a weak emotion anyway. I recommend self-righteous anger, bitter amusement, cold calculation or cynical detachment. No one is merely offended.)
First, I'd like to address this:
"Go ahead and keep doing it if that's your thing."
This hurt me a bit. I was merely quoting and defending the words in this context. I can't recollect having used them myself either when speaking or writing before, ever. I am pretty reserved when it comes to using these kinds of words, even though I am surrounded by people using them every day.
Same thing with "But I think that's because people are mostly fine with casual sexism, as long as it's not too obvious". I am, for example, bothered at times when I hear male classmates saying "Get back in the kitchen." to female ones. It's meant as a joke, it always is, but that doesn't sit right with me.
I look at the individual, not the sex of a person. I consider "bitch" to be a word free from association to the female sex, today. One thing that may be influencing me is that nearly all of my classmates are male, which means that the times I do hear "bitch" it's used with a male... and certainly not in the way you suggest, except for the last one. Which brings me to the point I was trying to make:
It's an expression for "being a pain in the ass", something which both men and women (and all in-between) can be. Leaving the gender fully out of it is a good thing, as someone else has said, the meaning of words can change.
Finally, perhaps there are a few cultural differences. I grew up and live in Sweden, and while we borrow many words from English perhaps not all their meaning, and in particular, the history behind their usage is brought along with them. The old fashioned use of bitch may be more alive in other places, I suppose.
In short, I do not appreciate words and expressions where the downgrading of women is obvious, but I do not consider bitch being one of these words. If you do find someone using it to downgrade women, teach him (or her) a lesson. When I read "And yet, why don't we hear the people who always bitch about Google complaining about Microsoft?", I didn't get an image of "women in their right place" in my head, but one of raging nerds.
Your point about cultural differences is interesting. You said "the times I do hear 'bitch' it's used with a male... and certainly not in the way you suggest, except for the last one." Maybe the point is, if you're talking to American men or women, they will have heard all of the uses of "bitch" I quoted, many times (hopefully more on TV than in real life). So in a general web publication, it comes with that whole baggage. And since all the ways it's used are closely related, you can't really avoid the more sexist connotations.
"I'm going to sexually dominate you like a woman".
I'm going to sexually dominate you like a female dog.
Whoever was the first to say "shit" causally was probably considered rude. Then others got used to it and decided that it wasn't rude. But the meaning did not actually change.
Whoever was the first to use "bitch" as a verb was almost certainly a male asshole who wanted to subordinate the woman he was talking to. By repeating it, that is the sentiment you are reinforcing, because the meaning does not change. You're normalizing female subordination.
It actually has a lot of parallels with how language changed during and after slavery. Black men call each other "boy" (among other words) and it is positive. Women start groups like "stitch 'n bitch," and it is positive. But if you started referring to your wife's book club as "books and bitching," that's negative. You may not think it's fair, but it's their word.
Your entire argument seems to be predicated on this idea. But the thing is, pretty much every linguist in the world would disagree with the notion. The connotations of words are constantly shifting — there is ample evidence of this throughout the history of languages.
I applaud you for thinking about this sort of thing and speaking out about it, but in this particular case I think you're tilting at windmills.
Even if we accepted this absolutist stance where words' meanings do not change no matter what the common perception or intent of the speaker might be, it still wouldn't be offensive to women. If the word's connotation is immutable, then it does not refer to human women at all, but to dogs, and thus human men have just as much right to the word as human women do. But surely you'd agree the word has acquired new connotations since then, contrary to your claim above.
There might have been some point in history at which your stance was the right one, but if there was, I think that time is long gone. I don't know if you're just that old or if your regional dialect is odd in this regard, but I'm pretty sure the verb "bitch" is not gendered in most people's mental lexicons today. Because it is not particularly associated with them, it does not actually do any harm to women as a group if you use it.
(Note that all this is distinct from the noun "bitch," which is applied to men but is still has gendered associations. Probably best to avoid that one. And obviously avoid both in formal contexts.)
To put it the offensive way, nowadays it might be hip and such for white boys to address themselves as niggas, as it has being normalised by hip-hop spatters into the new bro. Still, no non-asshole honky would do so to an actually black person. It would be pretty insensitive, for starters.
For instance, you say "normalization that's designed to subordinate" -- 'designed,' eh? By whom?
You also state "by repeating it, that is the sentiment you are reinforcing," but I find the justification given confused and weak ('because the meaning does not change').
You also mention a common cultural trend: the notion that words originally applied negatively to groups can be appropriated for positive use by others. But instead analyzing this mechanism, you just blanket-assert that the negative words are the property of the slurred group and that others are, in general, not allowed to use those words.
I don't think most people here would state "I'll use derogatory word X all I want," and I think you're spot-on about the origins of the expression in this case, but this particular post smelled fishy for some reason.
First there's the matter of whether or not TechDirt is "journalism." I'm not saying that to be snarky, just pointing out there's still a lot of debate surrounding this issue.
I doubt that Microsoft is streamlined enough to allow different departments (Bing and whomever handles DMCAs) to effectively communicate. Microsoft is an immense bureaucracy.
Anything more would require additional effort and initiative and coordination between the contracting team, the contractor, and the Bing team. Probably someone just hired the third party, turned them loose and didn't put any more thought into it.
"Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction" is apparently a Ubisoft product, which is a publicly traded company distinct from Microsoft.
Copyright in "Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga" is apparently held by LucasArts.
While they all appear to be Xbox 360 games, being a platform manufacturer doesn't usually mean you own the content produced for that platform. It is possible that the games linked against a Microsoft library, and are infringing against the Microsoft's rights in the library, but then the declaration needs to declare that "that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed" - which means that the allegation of what is being infringed (i.e. a library and not the entire work) should have matched the work Microsoft owned.
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
Or.. perhaps comically. This is a third party issueing takedowns on Microsofts behalf. Isn't submiting to Bing due to lack of market share?
Perhaps this is the solution to the entire problem, trap the whole system in a recursive loop. Although then perhaps all the telephones in the world will ring until Douglas Hofstadter answers one of them.
 but with Douglas Hofstadter. And a kitten. But the kitten is just out of shot, so we can't really see it.