Starting this week, web sites that have received high numbers of removal notices for unauthorized use of copyrighted content will rank lower in Google’s search results, the search engine giant announced on its Inside Search blog on Friday.
Because Google is the number one search engine, this could result in lower traffic for sites that regularly post copyrighted material without authorization. “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results,” according to the post by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow and the Senior VP of Engineering.
As The New York Times Media Decoder column notes, Google’s new ranking system will only take into account valid copyright-removal notices sent to Google by copyright holders themselves.
To learn how to inform Google about a copyright infringement on any Google product (including its image search, web search, Google + and YouTube), visit the Google support page titled Removing Content from Google.
Google’s blog also reports that the company now receives copyright removal notices for over 4.3 million URLs a month. That’s as many notices as it received in all of 2009. However, these notices come from just 1,636 copyright owners (check out this chart on Search Engine Journal). Most of the notices are coming from large media companies holding many copyrights.
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Missoula, Montana-based photographer Erika Peterman is suing The Republican National Committee (RNC) for willful copyright infringement. The suit, filed in Montana District Court earlier this week, alleges the RNC used without permission a Peterman photograph of Rob Quist, the Democratic candidate in a special election to fill Montana’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.... More ›
A federal jury in Maryland has awarded $900,000 in actual damages to an Oregon-based plant retailer for its claims against a competitor over unauthorized use of two dozen copyrighted images. The jury verdict, delivered last week, also included a $300,000 statutory damages award, but the plaintiff may elect one jury award or the other (not... More ›