Google is making some significant changes to how it handles copyright infringement complaints and piracy that will go into effect over the next several months.
Google says it will act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours, will prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in its Autocomplete feature, will improve its AdSense anti-piracy review, and will experiment to make authorized preview content more readily available in search results.
"There are more than 1 trillion unique URLs on the web and more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute," says Google General Counsel Kent Walker. "It’s some pretty fantastic stuff – content that makes us think, laugh, and learn new things. Services we couldn’t have imagined ten years ago – iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, and many others – help us access this content and let traditional and emerging creators profit from and share their work with the world."
"But along with this new wave of creators come some bad apples who use the Internet to infringe copyright," adds Walker. "As the web has grown, we have seen a growing number of issues relating to infringing content. We respond expeditiously to requests to remove such content from our services, and have been improving our procedures over time. But as the web grows, and the number of requests grows with it, we are working to develop new ways to better address the underlying problem."
Kyle Bylin at HypeBot has a good explanation of how Google has been able to make money off of "both sides of the content spectrum."
"Fans don’t need to visit the Pirate Bay to find torrents," he writes. "They can type the same terms in Google and likely get better results. With the rollout of their Autocomplete function, it’s been observed that Google actively educated everyone looking for music and movies what torrents are. It’s even been demonstrated that sites hosting infringing content also feature AdSense ads…No matter what an artist does, Google makes money of[f] their music."
On a somewhat related note, Viacom is set to appeal the infamous copyright-infringement case against YouTube, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.