updated 07:51 pm EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Will take content complaints into account for search results
Google is set to become more aggressive against sites hosting allegedpirated material. From next week, the search engine will start to factor in the number of valid copyright notices it receives against a site, penalizing those with high numbers by placing them lower in search results. The ranking will "help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily," according to a post in the company's blog post.
After rebooting the copyright-removal system two years ago, Google has received more data from copyright holders about potential infringers, to the level that it received notices against 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days, exceeding the entire number of notices of 2009. Infringement accusations are said to influence the ranking, but will not be entirely removed from search results unless a valid copyright removal notice is received from the rights owner. Counter-notice tools will continue to be offered by Google, as the company aims to maintain transparency on copyright removals.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) issued a statement welcoming the move, with Senior Executive Vice President for Global Piracy and External Affairs Michael O'Leary claiming to be "optimistic that Google's actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online." Saying he would be watching this development closely, he also added "the devil is always in the details," suggesting that there may be more work to do on the problem. [via Engadget]