Google Fights Pirating

By Alberto Angulo-

The idea is to penalize sites that have been flagged for copyright complaints. Over the years, Google has been demonized by Hollywood for leading its users to sites that allowed them to copy and pirate music, videos, games and other copyrighted content.

“Google wants to do something to show Hollywood that it’s not a big giant pirate monster,” said Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of “Much of that perception of Google is not deserved. On the other hand, it’s embarrassingly easy for people to use Google to find pirated content online.”

In a blog posted on the company’s website, Google explained the changes it plans to make to its search algorithm, which determines what results it provides to people using its popular search engine.

“Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site,” wrote Amit Singhal, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering.

But should we be concerned that Google’s changes could unintentionally penalize sites that are innocent of copyright violations? Such sites could include services that let users upload and share content, such as Google’s own YouTube or Yahoo’s Flickr. Though users may violate copyrights by uploading, say, a Lady Gaga album, the sites themselves may be perfectly within the law if they have certain measures in place to flag and remove the album.

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