Google’s Pirate Update is a filter introduced in August 2012 designed to prevent sites with many copyright infringement reports, as filed through Google’s DMCA system, from ranking well in Google’s listings. The filter is periodically updated. When this happens, sites previously impacted may escape, if they’ve made the right improvements. The filter may also catch new sites that escaped being caught before, plus it may release “false positives” that were caught. Our latest news related to the Pirate Update is below.

MPAA: 82 Percent Of Searches Leading To Pirated Content Come From Google

piracy-cd-music-featured The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today accused Google and other search engines of playing "a significant role" in directing consumers to pirated movies and TV shows, with a special callout for the amount of Google searches that lead to infringing material. It's the latest volley in a long-running battle between Hollywood and the search engines over the easy online availability of stolen content and whose job it is to clean up the problem. MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd -- the former US Senator -- introduced the results of a new study during a news conference today in Washington [...]

Bing Reports They Receive Hundreds Of Thousands Of DMCA Complaints Every Month

google-bing-piracy-featured Because of its share of the search market, Google is most frequently targeted by copyright holders filing DMCA complaints, but the search giant is not the only one managing requests to remove unlawful links from search results. TorrentFreak reports Bing not only receives a great number of takedown notices monthly, but Microsoft submits DMCA complaints to its own search engine, as well as others. "Each month, Bing receives DMCA notices from a variety of copyright owners that seek removal of hundreds of thousands of URLs," said a Microsoft spokesperson. According to TorrentFreak, while Micros [...]

New Research Says Search Engines Have Little To Do With Promoting Pirated Content

google-bing-piracy-featured A new research paper authored by Matt Schruers and published by the Computer & Communications Industry Association argues that search engines have been unfairly targeted in the quest to impede online copyright infringement. According to the paper, the perception is that search engines are the primary culprit in copyright infringement cases, offering visibility to unlawful and pirated content. But, Schruers writes, "the contention that disappearing undesirable entries from search results would substantially prevent piracy is flawed" and "the solutions to online infringement have little t [...]

Google Continues Censoring Piracy-Related Search Suggestions By Blocking Grooveshark

google-search-censored-featured TorrentFreak reports Google has added another website to the piracy block list for their instant search suggestions. The site is named Grooveshark, which is a popular free music streaming service. Google would not comment specifically about Grooveshark, but told TorrentFreak, "our algorithms prevent terms closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete." Back in January 2011, Google began filtering piracy related terms from their instant search suggestions. Google said then that they will "prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete. [...]

Google’s Schmidt: Hollywood Should Take Content Pirates To Court

copyright-piracy-featured Google's Eric Schmidt says that the entertainment industry should focus on taking content pirates to court, rather than just trying to get Google (and other search engines) to remove pirate sites from search results. His comments, reported by Variety, came yesterday during an impromptu chat with reporters at an annual financial conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. "The industry would like us to edit the web and literally delete sites, and that goes counter to our philosophy," Schmidt is quoted as saying. But Google does remove pages. The company announced at the end of 2012 that it had r [...]

Google Refuses Hollywood Studio Requests To De-List File Storage Site Mega

dmca-google In recent weeks, Hollywood studios NBC Universal and Warner Bros both submitted DMCA takedown requests asking Google to de-list the file storage website Mega from its search index. According to a report on TorrentFreak, NBC Universal claimed Mega's homepage  linked to the NBC-owned film Mama, while Warner Bros alleged Mega made pirated copies of its film Gangster Squad available from its website. Since Mega's homepage doesn't link to any files, Google did not remove the website from its search index. Launched in January of this year, Mega is the successor site of Megaupload, a fil [...]

Hollywood Asks Google To Stop Listing Piracy Documentary, Claiming It’s Piracy Too

dmca-google The recently released TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay - Away from Keyboard, a documentary that sympathizes with the founders of the infamous file sharing website The Pirate Bay, has become the target of fraudulent link takedown requests from major Hollywood Studios, including Viacom, Paramount, Fox and Lionsgate. After its February release on The Pirate Bay website under a Creative Commons license making it free to download, Google has received multiple DMCA takedown requests asking that links to the film be removed from search results. The requests came through anti-piracy firms representing th [...]

50 Million Pages Removed From Google This Year Due To DMCA Piracy Reports

piracy-cd-music-featured We know that the number of DMCA requests have risen since Google introduced its Pirate Update, a penalty against sites that have an unusual number of legitimate DMCA requests filed against them. But what's the count? did the math and counted that Google took down over 50 million search results or URLs in 2012 alone. To be exact, Google removed 51,395,353 links from their search engine in 2012, and 7,816,766 of those were issued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which led the number of requests and taken downs. Here is the chart showing the s [...]

Google Transparency Report Now Showing False Takedown Requests

dmca-google TorrentFreak reports that Google updated their transparency report to now show the number and specific details on the false takedown requests attempted. You can see this level of detail by going to a specific takedown request. For example, looking at takedown request ID 266534 shows that of the 886 URLs reported for DMCA violations, 3% of them, or 24 URLs, Google decided not to take down. It is listed in the "no action taken" section. If you scroll down a bit, you can sort by that column and then click on the details to see specifically which URLs no action was taken against. Here [...]

Fraudulent DMCA Requests Spike After The Google “Pirate Update” Algorithm

dmca-google Remember in August Google launched a new algorithm we coined the Pirate Update? It basically looked at the number of valid DMCA takedown requests processed and used that data to downgrade the rankings of sites that were found to be abusive in this area. Since then, it appears some people have been abusing the algorithm. reports that a company named "Yes It Is – No Piracy!" has been issuing DMCA takedown requests for perfectly legal content. The company has been issuing these takedown requests on behalf of several movie companies including Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, B [...]

Google Piracy Algorithm May Be Reviewed By UK Regulators

piracy-cd-music-featured The Guardian reports that regulators within the United Kingdom will be reviewing Google's efforts to remove piracy web sites from their search results because they feel Google has not done enough. In August, Google launched the Pirate Algorithm, which is designed to lower the ranking of sites that are repeatedly reported and found to have copyright infringement cases on the site. You can learn more on how that algorithm works over here. UK regulators are not satisfied and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said they will review the technical changes promised by Google in order [...]

Google: Many Popular Sites Will Escape Pirate Penalty, Not Just YouTube

youtube-featured Google says that YouTube isn't going to somehow solely escape its new "pirate penalty." Any popular site may be OK, as the penalty works off of more than pure copyright infringement reports. Nuances in calculating the penalty should save popular user-generated content sites, the company said. The Pirate Penalty Initially, it sounded as if sites with many copyright infringement complaints filed against them with Google -- such as those listed here in the Google Transparency Report -- would be at risk under the new pirate penalty Google will begin imposing next week. If that were the c [...]

How YouTube Will Escape Google’s New Pirate Penalty

youtube-featured Google has announced that it will soon penalize sites that are repeatedly accused of copyright infringement. But one site in particular doesn't need to worry: Google's own YouTube. It has a unique immunity against the forthcoming penalty. POSTSCRIPT: Please also be sure to read our follow-up article, Google: Many Popular Sites Will Escape Pirate Penalty, Not Just YouTube The penalty -- which we've dubbed the Emanuel Update -- impacts Google's web search results. If someone has reported a web search listing as being a copyright violation, using the DMCA takedown mechanism, that's a stri [...]

The Pirate Update: Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused Of Copyright Infringement

copyright-piracy-featured Has someone filed a large number of DMCA "takedown" requests against your site? If so, look out. There's a new penalty that may cause you to rank lower in Google's search results. It joins other penalties (also called "filters" or "updates") such as "Panda" and "Penguin." We're dubbing this one the "Pirate Update" as it's aimed at copyright piracy. Hollywood Hates Google Google posted about the penalty here. Originally, we called it the "Emanuel Update" in honor of Hollywood mogul Ari Emanuel, who helped prompt it. "Pirate" is a clearer name, so we've switch to that. But here's the role E [...]

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