Search Engine Google just announced changes in its search engine policy that will fight piracy and make them money as well. Google has been criticized for some time for enabling users to download entertainment illegally for free.
Not surprisingly the entertainment industry has been campaigning for some time for Google to de-list or at least demote illegal sharing sites in its search engine results. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) made over 31 million requests to Google in 2013 to remove search results. The UK equivalent group, BPI (British Phonographic Industry), made over 43 million.
What most news sources fail to note, however, is what the critics say. Critics wonder how industries so imperiled by non-profit file sharing have had the resources to make millions of requests but no time to keep up with technology. Critics also note that many people feel it is not up to Google to “police” the internet or judge or define what is and what is not illegal.
Google has found a way to not only placate the entertainment industry but also to profit from the issue. They have chosen to simply to prioritize legal sources for downloading content in its search results. Anti-piracy campaigners welcomed the new measures that will now direct users to such sites as Google Play and Spotify.
Google will now list the legal services in a box at the top of their search results. They will also list results in a box on the right-hand side of each page. Google will, however, require each company listed at the top to purchase ad space.
Industry spokespeople are initially not happy with the idea of paying for this. The BPI, for example, stated that while they were “broadly” pleased with the changes, the company did not think legal sites should have to pay. A spokesperson told the press: “There should be no cost when it comes to serving consumers with results for legal services.”
Google freely admits they have not completely de-listed illegal sites but they have been consciously denigrating illegal sharing sites by listing them lower and lower in their search results. They have also refined their process for detecting illegal sites and reportedly plans on “stepping up its efforts.”
One anonymous source sub-contractually-employed by Google believes the company has made this announcement mainly to stem the tide of protests from the RIAA and BPI so they can move on to more important issues and concluded: “Whatever else you can say, Google plans to make money off of this.”
Google Addresses Piracy And Profits From It