Making Copyright Work Better Online: A Progress Report

Friday, September 2, 2011 | 8:24 PM

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In December, we announced four initiatives to tackle the problem of copyright infringement online. We’ve made considerable progress on each front, and we will continue to evolve our efforts in all four areas in the months to come.

  • Acting on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours. We promised to build tools to make it easier for rightsholders to submit DMCA takedown requests for Google products (starting with Blogger and Web Search), and to reduce our average response time to 24 hours or less for submissions using these new tools. We built the tools earlier this year, and they are now being successfully used by more than a dozen content industry partners who together account for more than 75% of all URLs submitted in DMCA takedowns for Web Search. Our response time for these partners is now well below the 24 hour target. In the coming months, we will be making these tools available more broadly to those who have established a track record of submitting valid takedown requests.
  • Preventing terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete. Beginning in January, we started filtering terms closely associated with infringement from Google Autocomplete, our feature that predicts search queries based on popular searches from other users.
  • Improving our AdSense anti-piracy review. We have always prohibited the use of our AdSense program on web pages that provide infringing materials, and we routinely terminate publishers who violate our policies. In recent months, we have worked hard to improve our internal enforcement procedures. In April, we were among the first companies to certify compliance in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB’s) Quality Assurance Certification program, through which participating advertising companies will take steps to enhance buyer control over the placement and context of advertising and build brand safety. In addition, we have invited rightsholder associations to identify their top priority sites for immediate review, and have acted on those tips when we have received them.
  • Improving visibility of authorized preview content in search results. We have launched Music Rich Snippets, which allow legitimate music sites to highlight content in the snippets that appear in Google’s Web Search results. Rhapsody and MySpace are among the first to implement this feature, which has been developed using open web markup standards, and we are looking forward to more sites and search engines marking up their pages. We hope that authorized music sites will take advantage of Music Rich Snippets to make their preview content stand out in search results.
These four initiatives have been an important part of our work combating piracy these last several months, but we’ve been pursuing other avenues as well.  We continue to believe that making high-value content available in authorized forms is a crucial part of the battle against online infringement. We have expanded our movie rental services on YouTube and launched the Google eBookstore, featuring a wide array of books from authors and publishers. We also continue to improve YouTube’s Content ID system to help more copyright owners (including song-writers and music publishers) to monetize their works and are working with WIPO on a rights registry that will help African musicians license their works. 

There is plenty more to be done, and we look forward to further refining and improving our processes in ways that help both rightsholders and users.

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