Google has been busy in the battle to combat the issue of online piracy.
The internet giant has been criticised over the years by many content owners for not doing enough to remove links to pirated material in its hugely dominant search engine. But last week, Google announced some changes to its search algorithm, in an attempt to make search results more copyright friendly and reduce the amount of online piracy.
Google revealed that at the start of October, its search algorithm received changes to reduce the number of sites that receive a large number of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices appearing in its rankings. This is something that many media firms and content owners have been badgering Google to implement for at least two years.
Search engine users will now be pointed to legal alternatives when searching for downloading entertainment, such as Google Play and Spotify. These alternatives will be located in a box at the top of the search results, alongside another box on the right hand side of the page. However, these legal alternatives shown in the two boxes will be adverts, meaning if a company wants their site to appear in them, they will have to pay the internet giant for it.
The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) is said to be pleased with Google’s recent improvements, but feels unhappy that companies should have to pay to get their websites in these new boxes. I agree with the BPI and feel that users should be automatically directed to the legal services first, without companies and websites having to pay an extra fee to rank at the top of search results. If we take a look at some of the statistics in regards to online piracy, it’s clear to see that this is a huge problem.
- The BPI made 43.3 million requests for Google to remove search results in 2013
- Google removed 222 million results from search because of copyright infringement
- Google’s Content ID system, which detects copyrighted material, scans 400 years-worth of video every day
Google has also implemented measures to filter its search results so that links pointing to illegal content rank lower in search results and still maintain that the best way to battle piracy is for content owners to distribute their work through legitimate digital services.
Seriously Helpful View: We, for once, agree with this Google update! We are strongly behind the move to protect the work of our favourite artists and filmmakers, and see this as a positive step towards ending piracy.