Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

In Self-Imposed Alternative to SOPA, Google Will Ding Repeat Copyright Offenders in Search Results

Google said today that it will use the number of copyright removal notices filed against a certain domain as a signal in its search results.

This is a sort of voluntary alternative to the infamous SOPA and PIPA legislation, which would have required ISPs and search engines to block access to sites accused of copyright infringement.

William Morris Endeavor Agency Co-CEO Ari Emanuel

Hollywood hates Google’s hands-off approach to copyright infringement. At our D10 conference in May, leading Hollywood talent agent Ari Emanuel had angrily targeted Google (and its defenders!), saying that the company should be able to filter for copyrighted material the same way it blocks child pornography.

Today, Google’s Amit Singhal explained that the company has sufficient data that it can lower search rankings for repeat offenders.

Google is now “receiving and processing more copyright-removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009 — more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone,” Singhal noted.

Singhal said the changes would go into effect next week. He noted that those who feel their content had been unfairly removed can continue to ask for it to be reinstated.

RIAA CEO Cary Sherman has already praised today’s Google’s announcement as a “potentially significant change.”

“This change is an important step in the right direction — a step we’ve been urging Google to take for a long time — and we commend the company for its action,” he said. “As Google itself has acknowledged, this is not the only approach, and of course, the details of implementation will matter.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik