updated 04:25 pm EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Recording organization complains about search placement of infringers
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today lambasted Google in a report for not going far enough to stop media piracy. The RIAA believes that the efforts that commenced by Google in August -- which exceed that required by law -- have been ineffectual in stopping "serial infringers" from finding content hosted by pirate sites. In August, Google made changes to its search algorithm to lower the profile of sites accused by legitimate copyright owners of hosting pirated content. The RIAA claims that sites that have been accused of copyright theft "still managed to appear on page one" over 98 percent of the time.
"We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy," the RIAA said in a statement. "These sites consistently appear at the top of Google's search results for popular songs or artists."
Between December 2011 and November 2012, Google removed 97.5 percent of all URLs listed in copyright removal requests. It now takes the company an average of six hours to process each request, with infringing websites being hit in search rankings if sufficient numbers of complaints are received.
Google suggests the vast majority of requests are legitimate and subsequently honored, however many are found to be blatant attempts to abuse the takedown system. Examples of misuse include an unnamed movie studio that asked for a legitimate IMDB page to be removed from search results, a reporting organization that asked for unfavorable movie reviews to be omitted, several instances of companies attempting to delist competitors, and attempts by individuals to remove search results pointing to negative comments or other information.