Google Anti-Piracy Report Criticised By Content Owners 27/07/2016 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Google is doing more to counter online copyright infringement than ever before, it said in its “How Google Fights Piracy 2016 Update,” claiming takedowns of over 500 million webpages in response to rights holder requests. Yet the music industry and an academic said the company needs to up its game. Google said in its latest report: “Over 558 million webpages were requested to be removed in 2015 alone. Google removed over 98% of these webpages upon review; the remaining 11 million webpages were rejected or reinstated because we either needed additional information, were unable to find the page, or concluded that the material was not infringing.” The 13 July report is available here. “Protecting and fostering creativity online is a priority for Google,” Senior Policy Counsel Katie Oyama said in a 13 July post on the company’s public policy blog. She listed several key actions Google is taking to cut down on copyright breaches. The company is “leading the industry in finding copyright solutions that work,” such as ContentID, Oyama said. It goes beyond a simple “notice-and-takedown” system by providing automated tools that allow rights holders to automatically claim their content and choose whether to track, block or monetize it on YouTube, she said. ContentID also provides new revenue streams for media industries and content owners, paying out over $2 billion to rights owners who have monetized their content since the program launched. Google also connects fans to better legitimate services, Oyama wrote. Google Play has paid out more than $7 billion to developers, while YouTube has paid more than $3 billion to the music industry. And thanks to Google engineers, “the vast majority of media-related queries that users submit every day return results that include only links to legitimate sites,” she added. Google’s anti-piracy initiatives also include following the money, Oyama wrote. Rogue sites that specialize in online piracy are commercial ventures, so one effective way of fighting them is to cut off their money supply. Since 2012, the company has “blacklisted more than 91,000 sites from AdSense for violating our policies against copyright infringement, the vast majority caught by AdSense’s own proactive screens,” she said. Rights Industry: Report is “Greenwash” Major rights holders weren’t impressed. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) issued a scathing statement branding the report “greenwash.” It welcomed the measures Google has taken so far, but said the company is “still one of the key enablers of piracy on the planet.” BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor offered an alternative take on the report, saying ContentID is a “great idea” but isn’t easy for people to use. “Of course the fact that Google refuses to remove the YouTube videos that show you exactly how to circumvent ContentID doesn’t help,” he said. Moreover, while not strictly a piracy issue, YouTube pays 1/16th as much for each of its music users as competing services such as Spotify, he said. Google should share a fair proportion of the value it derives from YouTube with creators, he said. Taylor also attacked the search giant for “connecting fans to the black market.” Music companies have licensed more than 200 digital music services, invaliding Google Play, but the company “persistently directs fans to illegal sites in preference to those legitimate services,” he said. Its algorithm should be changed to improve search results, and its autocomplete and suggested searches should stop pushing users to illegitimate sites, he said. International Federation of Phonographic Industry members worldwide have sent well over 300 million de-list notices to Google, said IFPI CEO Frances Moore. “Despite this, the amount of traffic to infringing sites from typical music search queries sent to Google is now higher than it was before Google changed its search algorithm to supposedly address levels of piracy.” Who’s Right? “I believe Google is voluntarily stepping up to the plate to combat piracy and should be commended for that,” Nelson Granados, Pepperdine Graziadio Business School information systems professor, wrote in a 19 July Forbes piece. “But I also believe more needs to be done, especially in search.” Studies show that around one out of five clicks to pirate sites come from search engines, making such services a “significant driver of piracy that must be addressed,” Granados wrote. That reported percentage may be small, however, because the studies dealt with top pirate sites, where search is used less because many infringers are already familiar with them; and because searches that end in pirate sites have a “multiplier effect” as users share the web links with family and friends. Google should consider addressing the fact that Google Drive is increasingly used to store files with infringing content, said Granados, and that its automatic search completion function could be inadvertently directing users to illegal sites. Image Credits: StudioCity Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Dugie Standeford may be reached at email@example.com."Google Anti-Piracy Report Criticised By Content Owners" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.