Google takes four steps against pirates


Google has announced four new measures to take on copyright infringers, including changes to how its search function works.

Firstly, Google has pledged to take action on "reliable copyright takedown requests" within 24 hours and will create tools to make the submission process easier.

The search giant will also alter its autocomplete function so it does not show up terms closely related to piracy.

Thirdly, Google said it would improve its AdSense anti-piracy review and would collaborate with rights holders to find and expel violators from the AdSense programme when the firm deems it appropriate.

Finally, Google will try to make authorised preview content "more readily accessible."

This could mean users would be presented with more sites previewing material within search results, such as songs or video, before they enter that website.

"As the web grows, and the number of requests grows with it, we are working to develop new ways to better address the underlying problem," said Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, in a blog post.

"We look forward to further refining and improving our processes in ways that help both rights holders and users."

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said the campaigning body would ask Google to explain how the copyright enforcement tools would work.

"Copyright owners have a right for infringing material to be taken down," Killock said.

"But there is a potential and very significant cost to freedom of speech if legitimate uses are impeded, such as quotation for news reporting or review, and automated procedures can be none-too-subtle."

Google itself has been accused of copyright infringement and is currently in a court case with Oracle.

The dispute is attempting to decide whether Google stole Oracle's copyrighted Java code when creating Android.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.