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 Monday, 13th August 2012, 11:05:10

Google search changes to 'curb access to pirated content'

Google search changes to 'curb access to pirated content'

Google is planning to modify its search engines in order to discourage piracy by putting measures in place to favour websites that offer legitimate, copyrighted content.

According to the official Google blog, the company will next week begin using algorithms that push potentially pirated material to a lower position in search results by taking into account the number of valid copyright removal notices these sites had received.

As a result, those websites that have received "multiple, valid complaints" about copyright infringement may appear lower in Google search results.

Amit Singhal, senior vice president for engineering, wrote on the blog: "This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.

The move was welcomed by Michael O'Leary, a senior executive vice president at the Motion Picture Association of America.

"We are optimistic that Google’s actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online," he said in an emailed statement.

This was echoed by Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, who said that Google "has signalled a new willingness to value the rights of creators".

Google revealed that it is currently receiving and processing a huge volume of copyright removal notices;more per day than through the entirety of 2009. In the last 30 days, more than 4.3 million URLs have been flagged up for attention.

However, only copyright holders know if something is authorised and only the courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed.

Google itself has no power to determine whether or not a particular site violates the law; as a result, the company will not be able to remove any pages from search results until it received a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.

The search giant recently came under fire after it was revealed to have ignored the privacy settings of a number of Safari browser users.

As a result, the firm was fined $22.5 million (£14.4 million) by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Posted by Kevin Jenson

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Categories:  |  Security  |  Online Marketing / Search  |  

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