“No evidence” of Google changes tackling music piracy

Illegal piracy websites are still easily found and accessed despite Google promising last year its revamped search formula would discourage users, a music industry report has said.

The Recording Industry Association of America carried out the study released on Wednesday and, while recognising the search giant had made an effort, said it was ultimately failing on previous promises.

“We have found no evidence that Google’s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,” the RIAA report said.

HumanIPO reported in November that African management representatives of Universal, Endemol and YouTube believed the power was in their hands to cut piracy down by providing “cheaper, faster and better” access to content.

In South Africa alone, piracy is estimated to cost the music industry R500 million (US$56 million) every year.

The RIAA’s report said “serial infringes” identified in Google’s Copyright Transparency Report “were not demoted in any significant way in the search results and still managed to appear on page one of the search results over 98 percent of the time in the searches conducted”.

Steven Marks, RIAA General Counsel, said: “We recognize and appreciate that Google has undertaken some positive steps to address links to illegal music on its network,” reported gadgets.ndtv.com

He added: “Unfortunately, our initial analysis concludes that so far Google’s pledge six months ago to demote pirate sites remains unfulfilled.

“Searches for popular music continue to yield results that emphasize illegal sites at the expense of legitimate services, which are often relegated to later pages. And Google’s auto-complete function continues to lead users to many of those same illicit sites.”

A Google spokesperson said: “We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever.”

Google said they have received 14 million copyright removal requests in the last month and more than 97 percent are “quickly removed”.

Posted in: Internet

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