In discussions about online piracy, it's often brought up that Google contributes to piracy as much as anyone else does. Fans don't need to visit the Pirate Bay to find torrents. They can type the same terms in Google and likely get better results. With the rollout of their Autocomplete function, it's been observed that Google actively educated everyone looking for music and movies what torrents are. It's even been demonstrated that sites hosting infringing content also feature AdSense ads.
This has led critics to argue that Google actively funds and monetizes both sides of the content spectrum. No matter what an artist does, Google makes money of their music. To combat these accusations and distance itself from piracy, Google has announced four initiatives that will help mitigate this activity. From their blog:
- We’ll act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours. We will build tools to improve the submission process to make it easier for rightsholders to submitDMCA takedown requests for Google products (starting with Blogger and web Search). And for copyright owners who use the tools responsibly, we’ll reduce our average response time to 24 hours or less. At the same time, we’ll improve our “counter-notice”tools for those who believe their content was wrongly removed and enable public searching of takedown requests.
- We will prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete. While it’s hard to know for sure when search terms are being used to find infringing content, we’ll do our best to prevent Autocomplete from displaying the terms most frequently used for that purpose.
- We will improve our AdSense anti-piracy review. We have always prohibited the use of our AdSense program on web pages that provide infringing materials. Building on our existing DMCA takedown procedures, we will be working with rightsholders to identify, and, when appropriate, expel violators from the AdSense program.
- We will experiment to make authorised preview content more readily accessible in search results. Not surprisingly, we’re big fans of making authorised content more accessible on the Internet. Most users want to access legitimate content and are interested in sites that make that content available to them (even if only on a preview basis). We’ll be looking at ways to make this content easier to index and find.