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RIAA: Google Failing To Demote Pirate Websites 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-help-here-please dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claims that Google has failed in its attempt to lower the search-results rankings of so-called 'pirate' Websites. "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy," read the report's summary (PDF). 'These sites consistently appear at the top of Google's search results for popular songs or artists.' Last August, Google indicated that it would start lowering the search-result rankings of Websites with high numbers of 'valid' copyright removal notices. 'This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it's a song previewed on NPR's music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed on Spotify,' Amit Singhal, Google's senior vice president of Engineering, wrote in a corporate blog posting at the time. Google, which receives millions of copyright removal notices every month, also offers a counter-notice tool for those who believe their Websites have been unfairly targeted for copyright violations."
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RIAA: Google Failing To Demote Pirate Websites

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  • Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:32PM (#42975597) Journal

    The RIAA can fuck off.

    A search engine is supposed to search and display what it finds. I'll be the one to do the filtering

  • No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by knapkin (665863) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:32PM (#42975599)
    I want my search engine to search the web for my query. Do not try to figure out what sort of legitimate use I have for my query, give me the results! Maybe I'm a copyright infringer trying to steal music, and maybe I'm a gun happy lawyer trying to sue the pants of the site owners.
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:35PM (#42975621)
    when does the riaa hollywood accounting get some action? Ripping off hard working artists with manipulative deals is fraud in other businesses.
  • Test (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:43PM (#42975661)

    Anecdotal observation here.

    Went to Google and typed in Mumford. Guess what, no pirate sites appeared on the first page.

    But there was a Wired article complaining about the "no unauthorized copying lending public performance etc. statement on the back of their latest album.

    Maybe the RIAA doesn't want us noticing that the 'no unauthorized lending clause' has no legal basis.

  • Ban lobbying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thej1nx (763573) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:52PM (#42975725)

    Yes, because everyone *else* in the world even remotely/tangentially having anything to do with digital media, has an obligation to spend considerable time and money protecting Sony, BMG. etc.'s business.

    Search engines must hire additional coders to ensure that internet is censored as per Sony 's whims. Hardware manufacturing companies must spend significant extra money on ensure DRM compliance. ISPs must spy on their customers to ensure that no copyright-infringement happens. Police which is funded by public tax money(you and me) must spend valuable time and effort on catching the nefarious "music stealers". Senators who are elected by the people and paid by public tax money, must instead ensure laws favoring BMG/Sony that make copying files a worse crime than rape or murder.

    Whereas, the same "victim" companies, move their headquarters outside to cheat the American public out of the benefits of any tax money they might have had to pay. We have all the obligations to them. They have none to us or even the actual creators of the said music etc.

    Soon doctors will likely be required to ensure that they perform free deafening procedures on everyone who might end up listening to "infringing music".

    The solution is simple. Realize that lobbying is equivalent to bribery and force your senator to pass a law against it.

  • Re:Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin (657549) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:28AM (#42975953)
    Actually, sure. Give me a checkbox that says filter malware, viruses etc from search results. Any time. Please. But allow me to go and uncheck it.
  • Re:Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KevMar (471257) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:34AM (#42975983) Homepage Journal

    If people are looking for pirating sites, I would expect them to show up at the top of the rankings. Because if I was searching for [artist] [track] download, I am not looking for amazon.com.

    What Google has done is reduced when these sites would show up when you were looking for legitimate sites. Just like they reduced the adult content you see unless you are looking for adult content. It's not Google's job to police what people search for, just to make sure they find what they are looking for.

  • Re:Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:42AM (#42976033)

    "The RIAA can fuck off."

    This.

    They have demonstrably not done anybody any real good. They have been attacking the music industry's best friends. (People who download also tend to be those who buy more music and attend more theater movies). And they have made enemies of The People in general.

  • Re:Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eksith (2776419) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:45AM (#42976047) Homepage

    That's not really fair for folks who don't even know about Linux (or think it's some kind of hacker thing... and there are still plenty of those). Is it fair for grandma to get a drive-by download because she got a new computer from Walmart that came with Windows? Is the web only meant for savvy users who build their own PC and sudo their way out of problems or into new functionality?

    Your web oligarchy is a dystopia, with a twisted sense of survival of the fittest, that I'm glad I'll never see as long as level heads prevail. The /. crowd may run mostly Linux/BSD, but last I checked, a fair percentage are empathetic human beings that are all too aware the web is meant for everybody, savvy or not, technical or not, creative or not. I'd go as far as to say, the web is a fundamental right now that a significant portion of our ability to communicate is tied to it. If Google is doing its part to keep malware at bay, that's a plus.

    Back on topic, RIAA is not protecting the world from malware and terrorism, so there's no reason for Google to give them the same level of respect.

  • by kermidge (2221646) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:52AM (#42976105) Journal

    Perhaps Google, like many an adult, dislikes being ordered about by spoiled children.

    Make that spoiled, sanctimonious, amoral, dishonest, hypocritical, mentally skewed, ethically bereft children.

  • Re:And I.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fluffy99 (870997) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:53AM (#42976113)

    Even more, from when or where did arise an obligation for Google to demote the sites with "large amount of piracy"? Will RIAA pay the extra cost?
    Or is somehow RIAA turning "pinky" (that is: suggesting that the "hand of free market needs guidance")?

    From the article that you didn't bother to read before offering an unimformed opinion.

    "Last August, Google indicated that it would start lowering the search-result rankings of Websites with high numbers of “valid” copyright removal notices. “This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed on Spotify,” Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of Engineering, wrote in a corporate blog posting at the time.
    slashdot (http://s.tt/1A3pv)"

    Of course one issue is whether the copyright removal requests that RIAA is claiming Google received were in fact valid requests. That RIAA seems to have those numbers might imply that RIAA was the ones submitting all those requests. It's been demonstrated before that RIAA has been submitted take-down notices for stuff they don't have any jurisdiction over.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:20AM (#42976273)
    Ever since RIAA realized they can sue grandmothers for millions and people with open WIFI access points, they've gotten super sue happy. The bar down the street got sued for $100,000 for doing karaoke. I mean everyone is getting sued. The radio stations online are sued to do tribute. The Canadian government got influenced so they impose taxes on CDs to give tribute to RIAA. RIAA probably realizes there is more money to be had in suing people than actually producing something now since everything goes in their favor. Now they're weighing up a big whale and seeing if they can take it sounds like it. Someone needs to stop the RIAA, they ruin lives because they're just plain greedy and have no morals to stop them. They started with screwing artists, now they're trying to sue everyone possible. It's just sick.
  • Re:And I.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:21AM (#42976275)

    Even more, from when or where did arise an obligation for Google to demote the sites with "large amount of piracy"? Will RIAA pay the extra cost? Or is somehow RIAA turning "pinky" (that is: suggesting that the "hand of free market needs guidance")?

    From the article that you didn't bother to read before offering an unimformed opinion.

    It wasn't an opinion (um- or not uminformed), it was a question. And since the quoted para (thank you for it) doesn't answer it, let me repeat it:

    from where and since when is there an obligation for Google to "please" RIAA?

    It doesn't matter if Amit Singhal "indicated that it would start lowering", I'd be grateful to know if Google is actually obligated to do so.
    In depending the answer, I'll be able to form an opinion (at least for myself) on whether or not Google has done enough in spite of RIAA wanting it to do much more.

  • by mug funky (910186) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:27AM (#42976297)

    maybe the suits at RIAA are getting personalized results, just like everyone else.

    think about it - if all they click on are pirate sites, that's going to fairly effectively override any pagerank tweaks that google can throw at them.

    a RIAA lawyer is hardly going to click on spotify, hulu or itunes if they're looking to C&D someone.

  • Re:And I.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fluffy99 (870997) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:33AM (#42976631)

    Rather than charge, which would discourage real users from reporting websites they could implement simple measures to stop the automated reporting that they are being spammed with. 2.4 million reports a month from RIAA alone is nearly one a second. Rate limiting to a few complains a day per IP could help, or even simple CAPTCHAs. That would perhaps force a human to look at the content instead of using an automated tool to search for song titles and then spamming reports for any hits containing the artist and track number.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:45AM (#42976875)

    'These sites consistently appear at the top of Google's search results for popular songs or artists.'

    Lets search for "The Big Bang Theory S06E17 720p download". Hm, only pirate sites. Why would that be? Maybe because there are no legal Sites to appear.

    The real Problem is, that at the time people search for popular downloads of Music/Movies and Television shows, there are no legal alternatives to pirate sites. At least outside the US. Sure in 2 Years you might find it on a legal Streaming site or buy the DVD/Bluray half Season box, but today? Piracy is your only Option.

  • Re:Good for Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pantaril (1624521) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:10AM (#42976979)

    If people are looking for pirating sites, I would expect them to show up at the top of the rankings. Because if I was searching for [artist] [track] download, I am not looking for amazon.com.

    What Google has done is reduced when these sites would show up when you were looking for legitimate sites. Just like they reduced the adult content you see unless you are looking for adult content. It's not Google's job to police what people search for, just to make sure they find what they are looking for.

    Also, the "legitimate" sites RIAA is suggesting to Google (NPR's music website, Hulu, Spotify) would be useless for most users outside USA as they don't offer their services to much countries outside of U.S.

  • Re:Good for Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:08AM (#42977767)

    There's a pretty big difference between a seach engine hiding (or making more difficult to find) malware infested sites (something that can potentially break my OS) and being a nanny that prevents me from finding exactly what I want.

    Let them index child porn, copyrighted material, etc. Their job is not to police the internet.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce

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