Google looks to identify searches for pirated content

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google's aiming to pick out searches for illegal content as part of a crack-down on copyright infringement.

It says it has a list of terms 'closely associated with piracy', and that it will turn off Autocomplete for searches based on these terms.

It'll force illegal file sharers to spend, ooh, an extra half second finding the latest episode of Chuck, which will no doubt be enough to put them off their nefarious activities altogether.

Similarly, Google says it's going to experiment with making authorised preview content more readily accessible - in other words, presumably, lowering the ranking of material it thinks is infringing.

"Most users want to access legitimate content and are interested in sites that make that content available to them (even if only on a preview basis)," says general counsel Kent Walker. "We’ll be looking at ways to make this content easier to index and find."

Google says that it also plans to simplify the DMCA takedown request process, starting with Blogger and Search, and will reduce its average respoinse time to 24 hours or less. At the same time, it says it will improve its 'counter-notice' tools for those who want to challenge a takedown.

The company is also promising to step up its efforts to bar infringing websites from the AdSense program.

"As the web has grown, we have seen a growing number of issues relating to infringing content. We respond expeditiously to requests to remove such content from our services, and have been improving our procedures over time," says Walker.

"But as the web grows, and the number of requests grows with it, we are working to develop new ways to better address the underlying problem."