The music industry has long been trying to get Google to step up and help tackle online copyright infringement, and today the company has announced a a series of steps designed to combat the problem.
The steps include a promise to “act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours” and faster take down for”copyright owners who use the tools responsibly”. Google will also make available tools that will make it easier for rightsholders to submit DMCA takedown requests. These services will start with their blogging service Blogger and web search products. Interestingly Google will also improve its counter-notice tools for those who have content wrongly removed from their blogs, and try to make the whole process more transparent by allowing “public searching of takedown requests”.
They will also prevent “terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete”. In other words if you were searching for “The National”, Google will no longer suggest users may wish to search “The National Torrent”. This does not mean that Google will stop indexing torrent sites, it just means it won’t auto complete entries which may make them a bit harder to find. In addition they plan to improve their AdSense anti-piracy review tools, to ban websites involved in copyright infringement from its AdSense ad network. This will prevent AdSense ads funding pirate sites.
Finally the biggest change, Google will begin experimenting with ways to make legal content and services “easier to index and find” than illegal sites.
Google has long been under fire for allowing copyright infringement to take place on it sites – in particular YouTube and Blogger – so these new steps will be very welcome by the music industry.