Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Big Music Says Google Isn’t Cracking Down on Pirate Sites, After All

Six months ago, in the wake of the SOPA/PIPA debate, Google made a peace offering to the Big Media companies: It said it would try to make pirate sites harder to find in its search results.

That’s not happening, says the group that represents the big music labels. A new report from the Recording Industry Association of America says it’s as easy as ever to find links to pirate sites via Google search, and that it’s often easier than finding it from approved outlets like Spotify or iTunes: “We have found no evidence that Google’s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy.”

You can see the full report below; I’ve asked Google for a response. In the meantime, note that Google’s initial offer never made any ironclad promises about stamping out piracy, or even booting pirate sites from its results: “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily…” (emphasis added).

Update: Here’s the Google response:

“We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for Google Search, quickly removing more than 97% from search results. In addition, Google’s growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year.”

Google report card 2013 final _1_

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