Google to drop search rankings of sites with many takedown notices
The new move appears to be a nod in the direction of rightsholders, most notably the MPAA and RIAA. The latter trade group, meanwhile, has argued previously that Google isnâ€™t doing enough to remove possibly infringing links.
Digital rights advocates worried about lack of recourse
Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation worries that Googleâ€™s demotion of some websites may be abused, simply because they may be accused of copyright violations, rather than evaluated or even convicted. And the EFF isnâ€™t just being paranoid. Weâ€™ve seen many examples of rightholders issuing bad takedowns for files that were not infringing, or worse, that they didnâ€™t own or even see.
"What we donâ€™t know: what is a 'high number'?" wrote Julie Samuels and Mitch Stoltz, two EFF staff attorneys, on the organizationâ€™s blog on Friday.
"How does Google plan to make these determinations? Oh, and one other thing we do know, one that is particularly troubling: there will be no process or recourse for sites who have been demoted? In particular, we worry about the false positives problem. For example, weâ€™ve seen the government wrongly target sites that actually have a right to post the allegedly infringing material in question or otherwise legally display content. In short, without details on how Googleâ€™s process works, we have no reason to believe they wonâ€™t make similar, over-inclusive mistakes, dropping lawful, relevant speech lower in its search results without recourse for the speakers."
Sources and more information:
Starting next week, Google will roll out a change to its search ranking that demotes websites that have received a high number of valid copyright removal notices. Sites that have been cited for containing copyrighted material "may appear lower in our results," Amit Singhal, senior vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post .
( via arstechnica.com )