Google Developed A New Filter For Pirate Websites
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
Under the pressure of the entertainment industries, Google struggled for quite some time to comply with their demands – that of filtering infringing websites. On August the 10th the company announced that they are to put in place a new filter that will focus on websites which receive numerous takedown requests:
“Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results,” Google’s Amit Singhal wrote in a blog post.
This year Google published a list of received takedown requests, but the RIAA was not satisfied, claiming that the search engine is still not doing enough to filter out “rogue websites”. Amongst these takedowns requests names like filestube.com, extratorrent.com, torrenthound.com, bitsnoop.com and isohunt.com popped up, all of which could be the subject of this new filtering algorithm.
“Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law,” Singhal said.
“So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.”
However, the main issue remains that Google’s new ranking may also outrank legitimate content. For example, YouTube hosts millions of legal search results, but thanks to the high number of unauthorized videos it may also fall under Google’s censorship system.
As a matter of fact, Google told Danny Sullivan of the Searchengineland that:
“We’re treating YouTube like any other site in search rankings. That said, we don’t expect this change to demote results for popular user-generated content sites.”
Furthermore, the entertainment industry asked Google, Bing and Yahoo to “prioritize websites that obtain certification as a licensed site under a recognized scheme” and “stop indexing websites that are subject to court orders while establishing suitable procedures to de-index substantially infringing sites.”
It remains to be seen if Google will follow on these requests in the near future.