Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Piracy Google Your Rights Online

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA: Google Failing To Demote Pirate Websites

Comments Filter:
  • 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

    • 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 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.

      • by Inda (580031)
        If the RIAA expect amazon.com to show up when I search for:

        [Artist_name].[Album_name].[bitrate].[format].[group_name]

        They are so out of luck.
    • 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.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        The RIAA is run by the music industry. Of course they're only representing the views of music industry experts.

        • "The RIAA is run by the music industry. Of course they're only representing the views of music industry experts."

          Sure. But those "experts" have pretty obviously been telling it to do the wrong things.

          I don't know which party or parties have been coming up with their ideas and schemes. I just know that those ideas and schemes have been backfiring on them.

        • Music industry expert ranks up there with the great oxymorons (emphasis on the moron) of our times with military intelligence and microsoft works.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          The RIAA is run by the music industry. Of course they're only representing the views of music industry experts.

          I prefer to use the proper term 'shill' here, because those 'experts' are always going to arrive at the conclusions expected of them.

          I highly doubt any music industry expert has ever reach an unbiased conclusion on this stuff.

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        (People who download also tend to be those who buy more music and attend more theater movies).

        Citation Needed
        Unless you are trying to say EVERYONE downloads stuff illegally.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's the beauty of it though, we can use google search filters to defeat their measures. For example "-buy -store -review -preview -promo -viagra" trims out enough to make the potential "pirate" websites turn up on more than half the results.

    • 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

      You are half right. (100% right about the RIAA, btw, but only half right about search engines.) A search engine is a content delivery service, period. It is supposed to generate profit by delivering search results, the same way Netflix/Unbox/Hulu generates profit by delivering movies and TV shows. The minute you let your customers control their end of the delivery pipeline is the minute you've lost control of your business model and can start kissing your profits good-bye. Google makes money by selling

    • It's even worse than this; The record label collectives have caused a lot of fuss for Google, singling them out as the "number 1 enemy for the up-and-coming artist", forcing them to fund some very expensive research showing Google wasn't really responsible in any way (which they then conveniently forgot about) and basically blackmailed (under the threat of forcing through new laws like SOPA) Google into putting in place these search restriction policies.

      The RIAA have now turned around and said "this policy

  • 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.
  • And I.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreyaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:33PM (#42975605)
    ... have found no evidence that RIAA is working towards providing me with a $1,000,000 dollar stipend. So what?

    "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,"

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      ... have found no evidence that RIAA is working towards providing me with a $1,000,000 dollar stipend. So what?

      "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,"

      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")?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fluffy99 (870997)

        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’

        • 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 fluffy99 (870997)

            I don't see where they have any obligation other than reducing their exposure to a lawsuit that accuses them of facilitating copyright infringement. In truth, Google probably only announced this so they can say they're doing something. I doubt they expected RIAA to start spamming their reporting system with millions of reports using an automated reporting tool.

            • by c0lo (1497653)

              I don't see where they have any obligation other than reducing their exposure to a lawsuit that accuses them of facilitating copyright infringement.

              If that's the truth, then here's my opinbion: Google has done enough. Anything more than that and Google should charge RIAA for extra services (also in my opinion: it should have charge them even for processing the takedown notices: even a reasonable amount of 0.05 cents per request would have done wonders).

              • 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 c0lo (1497653)

                  Rather than charge, which would discourage real users from reporting websites they could implement simple measures to stop the automated reporting ...

                  Well, this would be a bad business stance
                  I mean: if "reporting copyright breaches" is such a "sought after" type of product/service, why not "expand you income channels" and aks money for it to a level it becomes profitable?

                • While I don't disbelieve it, where is the proof RIAA is doing this? Just curious.
              • even a reasonable amount of 0.05 cents per request would have done wonders

                Is that a "Verizon nickel", or do you really mean 1/20 of a penny?

          • by mwvdlee (775178)

            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.

            Who says they should be obligated? The RIAA didn't say that, nor did they imply it. All they stated was that, in their opinion, Google has not done what they said they would do.

            • by c0lo (1497653)

              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.

              Who says they should be obligated? The RIAA didn't say that, nor did they imply it. All they stated was that, in their opinion, Google has not done what they said they would do.

              Would I be in Google's shoes, my answer to them would be: "Tough luck, I tried. Would you like to pay me to try harder?"

      • by pantaril (1624521)

        "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,"

        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")?

        They could have problem if they don't actively try to demote pirate sites, because then, they would be no different from the Pirate Bay and could be charged with copyright infringment support.

        Yes, our copyright laws are stupid and should go away and be replaced with some form of support for IP creators which doesn't depend on artificial distribution restrictions.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          "We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,"

          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")?

          They could have problem if they don't actively try to demote pirate sites, because then, they would be no different from the Pirate Bay and could be charged with copyright infringment support.

          Yes, our copyright laws are stupid and should go away and be replaced with some form of support for IP creators which doesn't depend on artificial distribution restrictions.

          If so, why not pay some lobbyist to advice changing the laws instead of caving to RIAA's potential "legal extortion" and implement half baked solutions to a wrong formulated problem?

      • In case you haven't noticed yet, the very LAST thing dinosaurs like the RIAA want is an unguided free market. Think about it: Who needs them? People wanting to sell music can easily find people wanting to buy music, they're the middle man that can so easily be eliminated entirely.

        In a free market they'd have gone the way of the dodo ages ago.

  • 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.

    • I now think that the RIAA won't be satisfied until they are given a government-backed monopoly on search engines. I imagine it'll look like an old AOL portal. Want to be listed? Pay out the nose just like on TV.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The pirate sites will be more popular (therefore more clicks, therefore higher rank; regardless of negations made on behalf of a dying business model) than the legitimate ones until the RIAA (et al.) stop reaming both consumers and artists alike.

  • On Google when you type the query "politics" or "government".
  • 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.

    • force your senator

      He's not your senator.

      • by thej1nx (763573)

        Does he becomes a senator without your and others' vote? I thought the idea was that no matter how rich you are, you still get only 1 vote. So why does a guy who uses the votes of Johnny public to get his position, ends up working for Johnny rich instead? If you hire a plumber to do your work, will you be okay if he spends the time instead, fixing the stuff of the rich folks across the street?

        Why shouldn't sony, BMG etc. fix their broken business model, instead of asking everyone else to spend time and

        • If you hire a plumber to do your work, will you be okay if he spends the time instead, fixing the stuff of the rich folks across the street?

          Since a senator is a sort of a shared service, it's more like having the maintenance guy in your building spending most of his time in the rich neighbor's unit. But most of your other neighbors are ambivalent because they don't need any work done right now, so when you bring it up at an association meeting you're just ignored. Fix your own damn heater, our rich neig

  • by tippe (1136385) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @11:56PM (#42975747)

    Oh yeah? I searched for "useless twits", "thieving bastards" and "lying motherfuckers" and in none of the cases did "RIAA" appear near the top of the list. Clearly google has a lot of work to do to fix their search engine...

  • But Google really is a monolithic corporate which knows what it's users want, how to deliver it to them and how to make money from that. In short, Google knows how to use the internet to it's advantage rather than wasting all of it's resources trying to find the off switch.
    • Most of all, they sure as hell won't shoot themselves in the foot. Think about it: What is the main reason something shows up on top in Google's searches? Well, one of the reasons is that a lot of people who used the search term considered this link useful. Which in turn means that it is most likely useful for others using the same search term. Which in turn means that using Google, one of the first hits is what you were looking for.

      If those links that usually appear at the top now have to be lowered in ran

  • Thanks, RIAA! (Score:5, Informative)

    by PapayaSF (721268) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:09AM (#42975831) Journal

    The PDF has a very handy list of "notorious" sites, many of which were new to me. The RIAA should have Googled "Streisand Effect" before they released that....

    • 2shared.com
    • 4shared.com
    • aimini.net
    • airmp3.me
    • audiko.net
    • banashare.com
    • beemp3.com
    • codemymp3.com
    • dilandau.eu
    • downloads.nl
    • emp3world.com
    • filecrop.com
    • filestube.com
    • freemp3box.com
    • freemp3x.com
    • isohunt.com
    • kat.ph
    • loudtronix.me
    • mp3.li
    • mp3bear.com
    • mp3chief.com
    • mp3juices.com
    • mp3lemon.org
    • mp3oak.com
    • mp3searchy.com
    • mp3skull.com
    • mp3ye.eu
    • musicaddict.com
    • myfreemp3.eu
    • prostopleer.com
    • rlslog.net
    • searchmp3.mobi
    • torrentreactor.net
    • viperial.com
    • zippyshare.com
    • They left out piratebay.se

      It doesn't matter. I and millions of people use google to FIND what WE want,
      not what the RIAA wants us to find.

      Hey RIAA, like the first response says - fuck off.

      E

    • by xenobyte (446878)

      Weird list. They include zippyshare.com, a fairly new player, but omit uploaded.net (ul.to), much more established and possibly the current 'MegaUpload' of the scene... They include rlslog.net which has removed all download links but omit scnsrc.net (the alternative release log) which still has all download links, both torrent and file lockers, in both posts and comments...

    • by dhavleak (912889)

      The RIAA are missing a business opportunity again. They should instead ask the judge to make Google forward to them any revenue made from such sites.

      I mean, they claim it's their content. And they claim Google's getting fat on it (which is true -- ad revenues -- many times over when a downloader gets pwned). Just consider it sales instead. Let users "buy" their content by any means necessary (if they pay for it by getting infected with malware -- the RIAA shouldn't care as long as they get their pound of

  • by jaymemaurice (2024752) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:27AM (#42975947)

    A black market will exist as long as there is a reason for it. The more money that is siphoned out of our pockets by the swine of an unproductive industry, the further we will go to protect our interests. I'd love to believe Hollywood helped better our education system or somehow improved our standards of living... and maybe it is anti-american to believe it has taken more then it has given... yet I pay a hidden tax on all my blank media and generate add revenue for the american music lables on my youtube video that happened to catch an audio clip in the background. I spend more than a meal or hour of minimum wage on a single album or movie screening. Oh... and I'm NOT an American. I am Canadian.

    • Hollywood, where the movie industry went to make movies cheaply far enough away from where copyright and patents were being enforced ....

  • The day it becomes apparent to most users that google is manipulating results is the day a new search engine will take over. Let's not forget how google got so popular to begin with: they had the most relevant search results around. Water this down and they lose value. They're not invincible and their future is by no means guaranteed. Ain't that right AOL?

  • by mysidia (191772) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:38AM (#42975999)

    It's to their users... no doubt their idea of "piracy" includes fair use content as well... observe how they list Youtube as separate from "authorized"....

    They list mere counts of average number of times a site appeared that had 10,000 or more removal requests, or 1,000 or more remove requests.

    Out of millions of remove requests received by Google; 10,000 pages at issue on a large site do not necessarily qualify as "a large number of requests".

    RIAA's arguments are non-constructive, and they have offered no evidence that Google has not taken successful action to demote piracy results.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I google for "name of song/movie torrent" then the legit MAFIAA versions are hardly going to be in the top 10.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Friday February 22, 2013 @12:46AM (#42976061)

    http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/ [google.com] Google produces a report that includes a breakdown of all requests Google has received since July 2011 to remove copyright-infringing content from its search index. Google updates the information daily.

  • by balise (82851)

    Poor babies.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    '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

    • I think this is a big issue. I tried to follow CBS shows, but there website is so hard to utilize for streaming. Hulu is kinda there, but still lacking. I don't know why I need to pay to watch ads? Hulu plus did not remove ads. And hey, I'm trying to do it the legit way. Netflix is ok, but so slow to get content. I just don't see a legit easy, good option. Until they get there it isn't changing.
  • 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.

    Maybe it's just that even after demotion, the pirate sites are still the best possible result, ranking above the sites that the RIAA would like to see at the top...

  • it's not google's business model to do the bidding of the RIAA. they can bite me.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.

Working...