Google Accused of Dragging Its Feet Re: Copyright Infringing Sites

Posted on November 1, 2012

Google Accused of Dragging Its Feet Re: Copyright Infringing Sites

Back in August, Google pledged to assist media cartels in their quest to protect copyrights by lowering the ranking of sites that have more DMCA Takedown Notices, eventually taking them off the search results list completely. However, Google now faces accusations that it’s being “too slow” in implementing its plan and now faces a review by the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS).

According to the department they are, “…aware of the concerns raised by rights holders that this has not had the impact that they hoped”, and are getting ready to, “…review the effect of the technical change made by Google and consider our options.”

This is part of a much wider campaign to tackle online infringement, which includes coordination with payment processors, including major credit card companies, and ad exchanges to reduce the revenue flowing to criminals.

In spite of this, the DCMS is still willing to work with Google to improve their search results. The DCMS has been a central figure in the roundtable discussions regarding online copyright infringement. They have worked closely with several different parties, including ISPs and rights holders, to develop industry-led solutions to reduce online piracy.

The British Phonographic Industry is also commenting on the situation as well, claiming that Google’s Transparency Reports show that they are aware of which domains infringe the most, but don’t show that any significant action has been taken since they’ve made their initial promise. Many of these infringing sites still rank very highly despite their promises to penalize these sites in the search rankings.

With the launch of music purchasing services in Google Play, analysts feel that now is the right time for Google to put its best foot forward and show the industry that it’s willing to work with them to protect copyright, starting with the removal of sites which encourage copyright infringement.

As per Google’s spokesperson, “We continue to work closely with the industry to protect rights holders and their material. Sites with high numbers of removal notices are now more likely to appear lower in our results, we’ve made it easier to report pirated material and now take down more than 7 million infringing links per month.”