The unauthorized duplication of an original recording has arisen with the rapid advancement of technology. Piracy is a criminal activity and is illegal. The movie and music industries had been complaining about it and Google, being the ultimate tool people use to search the web, is forced to take some serious measures to get along with media companies. After all, it is one of the companies who can benefit if piracy is minimized on the internet.
Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, Amit Singhal, recently announced that starting this week, Google will implement an update in its search algorithms to reduce the visibility of websites providing pirated contents.
The step would eventually stir the web considering the fact that billions of websites rely on Google’s rankings to become visible in a rather congested environment. But it will not just help people find legit products on the web, it is also a great help for media industries find a better platform to promote their products.
There will be a new indicator to be added to deliver the most accurate and best possible search results which Google has already been doing in decades. It mentioned that sites with high number of removal notices or copyright disputes may appear in lower results or may even be deleted completely.
Cary Sherman, CEO of Recording Industry Association of America, commended Google in doing such an action. Sherman said that this change is an important step in the right direction, a step that they have been urging Google to take for a long time already.
Search engines have a very critical role in fighting online piracy because they index all sorts of articles and websites. Over the past decade, finding pirated contents was made easier to do with the use of search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN (now Bing). For the record, Google was the one that became the most popular and that is the reason why it is also leading the drive to minimize and even eliminate piracy online.
Other parties believe that Google’s action might be abused by others who want to sink their competitors’ websites. It may also have an impact on websites that hosts a lot of content.
“Google needs to make sure this change does not harm Internet users or the Internet ecosystem,” John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge said.
While it is clear Google has its focus on cleaning out the web for unlicensed and pirated multimedia products, small-time bloggers and content publishers could expect to benefit from it, too, because copyright is not only limited to those products but also articles and images. Sites that blatantly copy contents from other websites are also expected to be affected by the update Google will roll out this week.
On the other hand, this act will obviously affect many other domains such as the torrent sites. After Google will modify the ranking system by this week, bloggers and online publishers will need to wait and watch for the search results. However, once this anti-piracy action is implemented, artists, music companies, the government and other copyright owners are expected to benefit from it.