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Google says it plans to do more to fight online piracy

December 2, 2010 |  9:07 am

Google, which has been dogged by complaints about pirated content on YouTube and with its new television initiative, seems to be appealing to Hollywood with some major changes to the way it deals with copyright infringement on its search engine over the next several months, making it tougher for websites that flaunt the law and making it harder to find pirated content, it said Thursday.

"There are more than 1 trillion unique URLs on the Web and more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute," Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, said in a blog post. "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 that content are "bad apples who use the Internet to infringe copyright," Walker wrote.
So Google is looking to respond to those "bad apples" that violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the law that protects sites like Google if they remove infringing content when notified, faster and more efficiently.

The details are still somewhat vague, but Walker said Google will respond to "reliable" takedown requests within 24 hours and build tools to make it easier for copyright owners to submit the requests, improve tools for those who think their content was improperly removed and make it possible to search takedown requests. Google also said it will also block terms closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete, the search engine's tool that fills in the query box as you type, and prevent violators from using its AdSense product.

In what could be a major step for content creators, Google will experiment with making sites with legitimate content easier to find than sites with pirated content. That could be a game changer if Google makes pirated content hard to find on its search engine, the world's largest.

Related:

Google TV plan causing jitters in Hollywood

-- Jessica Guynn

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