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Google to demote pirate sites

Bows to Big Content

Search engine Google is bowing to Big Content to change to its search engine algorithms so that legitimate copyrighted content will rank higher in online queries.

Over the next week, Google will push potentially pirated material to a lower position in search results. Writing in the company bog, Amit Singhal, senior vice president for engineering said the new system will use "removal notices", or complaints from entertainment companies, that a website has received in ranking search results.

So basically if Big Content says that the material is pirated, it will be demoted. Needless to say Big Content is happy. Michael O'Leary, a senior executive vice president at the Motion Picture Association of America told Bloomberg that Google's actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online.

Singhal insists that the lower rankings do not mean that the material is actually nicked. Neither will Google remove any pages from search results without a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner, Singhal said. What it will mean is that the Google algorithms will start to guess what material is original and start downplaying those it does not believe are. What could possibly go wrong?

Last modified on 13 August 2012
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