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Google claims anti-piracy progress

October 20, 2014

By Colin Mann

Google has published an updated How Google Fights Piracy report, which explains how it combats piracy across its services. This new version updates many of the numbers from the 2013 version and lists a few other developments in the past year and follows an open letter sent mid-September to the European competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, in which News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson branded the company a “platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks” to which Rachel Whetstone, SVP Global Communications, responded that Google has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy.

Writing for the Google Public Policy Blog, Katherine Oyama, Senior Copyright Policy Counsel, said that the company has been testing new ad formats in search results on queries related to music and movies that help people find legitimate sources of media.

For the relatively small number of queries for movies that include terms such as ‘download’, ‘free’, or ‘watch’, Google has begun to list sources such as Google Play, Amazon and Netflix.

“We’re also testing other ways of pointing people to legitimate sources of music and movies, including in the right-hand panel on the results page,” she advised

These results show in the US only, but Google plans to continue investing in this area and plan to expand internationally.

Google has also developed an improved DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) demotion signal in Search. “In August 2012 we first announced that we would downrank sites for which we received a large number of valid DMCA notices. We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites. This update will roll out globally starting next week,” reported Oyama.

In addition, more terms are being removed from autocomplete, based on DMCA removal notices. “We’ve begun demoting autocomplete predictions that return results with many DMCA demoted sites,” she confirmed.

“Every day our partnership with the entertainment industry deepens. Just this month we launched a collaboration with Paramount Pictures to promote their upcoming film Interstellar with an interactive website. And Content ID (our system for rightsholders to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube) recently hit the milestone of enabling more than $1 billion in revenue to the content industry,” she noted.

“In addition to strengthening these relationships, we continue to invest in combating piracy across all our services,” she concluded.

Categories: Articles, Content, Piracy, Policy, Regulation, Rights