Google Changes Search Engine to Penalize Copyright Infringers

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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8 Responses to “Google Changes Search Engine to Penalize Copyright Infringers”

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  2. dusanmal Says:

    Copyright Infringement is BAD. However, this Google decision is worse.
    Google customers, who they should serve are search users. Not content makers. Not websites or services. Customers are search users. All Google efforts must be to bring to the customers the best results for whatever they have searched. Any “filters” can be applied only with the end user opt-in consent (like for obscene content right now). User should be able to enable this particular “infringement” filter or disable it. However, mandating it changes the very substance of Google service. Google becomes content filter engine. Users are no longer the main group served but content producers. There is a huge conflict of interest once this happens and Google search becomes worthless manipulated resource.
    If concerned about infringing content Google could add (in addition to opt-in filter mentioned above) clear marking of the results for all. Say, infringing (but good results for what whoever searched) should be underlined in red and marked as infringements. Never hidden by default. Google is not police nor should we allow it to become so.
    This action makes Google unelected, un-appointed illegal mind police. No, thanks.

  3. MyNameHere Says:

    “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results . . .”

    Interesting.
    The biggest infringements of my work are on blogs hosted at Blogspot, which is owned by Google. I have filed many DMCA notices against them. Will Google be penalizing itself for these infringements?

  4. Libby Says:

    And Pinterest? The biggest facilitator of them all.

  5. Google Changes Search Engine to Penalize Copyright Infringers | The Click Says:

    [...] Link: PDN Pulse » Blog Archive » Google Changes Search Engine to Penalize Copyright Infringers August 15, 2012 Categories: Copyright Leave a comment 0 [...]

  6. Salvador Says:

    @dusanmal : Google’s customers are the businesses which pay for their products and services (many of them photographers and other creatives whose work is frequently purloined) to be advertised. I would no more expect Google (or any other finder type service, such as a concierge) to tell me where the best place to get stolen vehicles or heroin is anymore than expect it to tell me where I can find cheap/free, unlicensed creative content. They are not policing your mind – if you insist of getting your fix of ripped-off content, you’re free to troll the alleys.

  7. Andre Friedmann Says:

    The users of Google’s search are *not* Google’s customers. The users of Google’s search are the product Google sells to its advertisers. Google’s customers are its advertisers.

  8. Jim Says:

    How does this affect the millions of books and magazines Google has scanned and put online?