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Google To Start Punishing Pirate Sites In Search Results

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the arrrr-me-hearties dept.

Google 294

An anonymous reader sends word of a change Google will be making to its search algorithms. Beginning next week, the company will penalize the search rankings of websites who are the target of many copyright infringement notices from rightsholders. Quoting The Verge: "Google says the move is designed to 'help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily' — meaning that it's trying to direct people who search for movies, TV shows, and music to sites like Hulu and Spotify, not torrent sites or data lockers like the infamous MegaUpload. It's a clear concession to the movie and music industries, who have long complained that Google facilitates piracy — and Google needs to curry favor with media companies as it tries to build an ecosystem around Google Play. Google says it feels confident making the change because because its existing copyright infringement reporting system generates a massive amount of data about which sites are most frequently reported — the company received and processed over 4.3 million URL removal requests in the past 30 days alone, more than all of 2009 combined. Importantly, Google says the search tweaks will not remove sites from search results entirely, just rank them lower in listings."

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iTunes is great (-1, Troll)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about 2 years ago | (#40951619)

I've recently started using iTunes for music and movie rentals and it works flawlessly. So there's no justification of "no good legal alternatives" anymore, as both Spotify and iTunes are actually easier and nicer to use than pirate sites. The same goes for Steam.

Re:iTunes is great (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951675)

Right. Because all entertainment media is on iTunes and/or Spotify just like all games are on Steam.

Re:iTunes is great (-1, Offtopic)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about 2 years ago | (#40951713)

iTunes has quite impressive catalog. I listen to a lots of kpop and they are all there. What I would like to have is TV show rentals.

Re:iTunes is great (4, Interesting)

reub2000 (705806) | about 2 years ago | (#40952141)

Can you find 70s black sabbath?

Great for rentals with caveats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951681)

That: They have the movie you're looking for, you have a fast internet connect, you plan on watching it while you're on said connection, and you're not on a drop style connection where your neighbor's kid suddenly firing up bittorrent will kill the streaming on your movie.

Re:Great for rentals with caveats (2, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 2 years ago | (#40951751)

iTunes movie rentals download and then can be watched at any time for 24 hours after you start watching. They don't stream and you can watch them offline if you want. And their library is pretty big (if you're in the right countries).

Re:Great for rentals with caveats (0, Troll)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40952369)


Seriously, I'm not giving them a fucking dime for any reason, not now, not ever. I've got a Walkman, an Ubuntu netbook, and my smartphone will be a Nokia (if I do actually get one)

Saying "iTunes has it" is like not having it at all.


Re:iTunes is great (5, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#40951683)

Does iTunes let you download the videos to your computer at a time of your own choosing and in a format that will play on all of your devices? If not then it clearly is not superior to pirating and/or just plain ripping your own discs.

Re:iTunes is great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951791)

Yes, they do.

Re:iTunes is great (3, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#40952099)

Taken from the iTunes FAQ at [] :

Videos purchased from the iTunes Store have FairPlay digital rights management embedded in the files

Ie. the videos will only play on devices with FairPlay DRM - support.

Re:iTunes is great (5, Insightful)

Benaiah (851593) | about 2 years ago | (#40952407)

Since youtube probably gets like 1000 copyright infringement notices a day, does that mean they will punish their own service and put it at the bottom of the results?

Re:iTunes is great (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#40951929)

Have you considred that different people have different ways to define a "superior" method? For my parents, the ease of itunes trumps anything else. For me, I prefer to buy and rip my discs.

Re:iTunes is great (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#40952119)

Well, true enough. I should have formulated my comment better to reflect "superior format" instead, or something similar.

Re:iTunes is great (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951703)

I've recently started using iTunes for music and movie rentals and it works flawlessly. So there's no justification of "no good legal alternatives" anymore, as both Spotify and iTunes are actually easier and nicer to use than pirate sites. The same goes for Steam.

Except that iTunes is garbage bloatware.

And doesn't run on Linux.

Re:iTunes is great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952385)

And doesn't run on Linux.

Then make Linux suck less and stop being cheapskates.

Re:iTunes is great (2)

bluescrn (2120492) | about 2 years ago | (#40952563)

Be thankful you don't have iTunes on Linux. it's such a huge bloated piece of poop on Windows...

If only Android could offer an equally nice user experience on a phone/tablet, then I wouldn't have to use it...

Re:iTunes is great (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951737)

So there's no justification of "no good legal alternatives" anymore

Yes there are:
* Territory restrictions
* Format choices
* Encoding Quality
* Content availability
* Not enough choice of stores with a wide selection of content

But perhaps the biggest one:
* Indefensible copyright terms

Re:iTunes is great (2, Insightful)

Scowler (667000) | about 2 years ago | (#40952013)

All copyright terms are defensible. If you don't like somebody's draconian terms, simply find something else to download.

Re:iTunes is great (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952125)

... or ignore them. That's the most reasonable thing to do.

Re:iTunes is great (1)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 years ago | (#40952221)

Since *EVERYTHING* that can be downloaded is governed by draconian copyright laws, your comment is kind of lacking.

Re:iTunes is great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952107)

In other words: I want it exactly my way, under my terms, otherwise I'll just take it.

This is typical of the "Insightful" commentary on this site.

Re:iTunes is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952415)

The customer is always right.

Preferably I would like to see a world where music is not so ingrained. The biggest issue I see is that music and television seem to be used primarily as white-noise. I can't understand why people would pay so much attention and coin for things they don't really listen to.

Re:iTunes is great (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#40952507)

In other words: I want it exactly my way, under my terms, otherwise I'll just take it.

This is typical of the "Insightful" commentary on this site.

Well, there's something insightful in saying "you could package your product in such a way that I'd give you money, but oddly you're not packaging it that way". I'm certainly willing to pay for games/movies/whatever, and my willingness to pay is almost entirely influcenced by ease of acquisiton and use (price barely comes into it, though I won't be paying $10/episode for a TV show)

Re:iTunes is great (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 2 years ago | (#40951985)

Just because your content tastes revolve around popular culture doesn't mean that's true for everyone. If you're not within the mainstream for your country, your choices are pretty limited. For those willing to go the extra mile for their content even that is hindered by things such as region codes on DVDs and BluRays.

Content providers will only provide what they feel contributes positively to their bottom line. This does not necessarily align consumer demand. Unless all content, is available in all markets, in the manner desired by the consumer, when they want it, and for a price they are willing to pay then there will always be a justification. I'm glad you are happy with what is served to you. I am not happy, nor are countless others who are not content to be told what they may enjoy, and how they may enjoy it.

iTunes _SUCKS_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952085)

Some of us have different needs than you do.

The time restriction on iTunes combined with the inability to share the movie
within a day or two are enough to keep me going to the brick-and-mortar
video rental store and avoiding iTunes.

I rent the movie at the brick and mortar store, then I rip it, then I can watch it
at my convenience instead of being forced to watch it within a time frame specified
by the twits at Apple.

iTunes leaves a LOT to be desired for those who have enough intelligence to consider

Re:iTunes is great (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952251)

I pirate pdf and djvu scans of out-of-print books, you insensitive clod!

Re:iTunes is great (5, Interesting)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 2 years ago | (#40952393)

I've recently started using iTunes for music and movie rentals and it works flawlessly. So there's no justification of "no good legal alternatives" anymore, as both Spotify and iTunes are actually easier and nicer to use than pirate sites. The same goes for Steam.

Pop open your iTunes client and do a search for me....(because as far as I know iTunes doesn't run on Linux).

I want you to search for a song I recall from my childhood. My father used to play it on his record player while working in the garage. Being just a kid at the time, I'd sit nearby hammering nails into his workbench while he crafted bookshelves for people. The song is 'Escape'. If something does come up, I guarantee it's wrong. The song I'm looking for is by Michael Garrison from his album "In the Regions of Sunreturn". Nothing? Try Googling for it. You might find a youtube video with the song, or maybe a sample on some music geek's website, but good luck getting a legitimate copy.

Michael Garrison is long dead, and a few years before my father unexpectedly passed away I noticed a copy of the record floating around ThePirateBay. I grabbed it, burned it to a CD and gave it to him on his birthday. He hadn't heard the song since his record collection was destroyed back in the 80s. I never saw him so happy to be listening to a CD. Thank God we have the RIAA to try and stop moments like those.

In the last 10 years I have run into that record twice in all my eBay, CraigsList, and Amazon searching.

So good luck. Once someone creates a fairly complete library of music, along with an easy way to BUY songs (not rent or borrow), and the prices are reasonable--I'll start using it. I'd hate for my kids to grow up and remember a song their dad played in their youth, only to find "Barbie Girl" unavailable and unplayable because it's DRM'd and backed by a bunch of sue-happy lawyers.

Oh--and I'm joking. I hate "Barbie Girl". ;)

Re:iTunes is great (2)

bluescrn (2120492) | about 2 years ago | (#40952517)

Yeah, iTunes is great. Lossy digital audio for only 50% more than the priec of a physical CD...

what about themselves? (5, Insightful)

jjeffries (17675) | about 2 years ago | (#40951653)

So no more YouTube search results in Google, then?

Re:what about themselves? (2)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | about 2 years ago | (#40951901)

YouTube has deals with most of the copyright holders, and infringing stuff is either pulled or gets ads put on it.

Re:what about themselves? (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#40951973)

Agreed, however it's still one of the leading sites on the internet when it comes to takedown notices I'd imagine. "Goodbye YouTube" was pretty much my first (ironic) thought when I read this title. And, of course, we're now going to see plenty of takedown notices being made by Fox against the BBC and vice versa (for example) just to hit the competition's page rank.

Re:what about themselves? (5, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#40952097)

YouTube is full of pirated material nowadays, and it gets put back up as fast as it comes down, even with their automated systems. Here's a long list: []

About 13,200,000 results, of which the vast majority are not there with copyright holder's permission. As to the adverts, those are making money for Google, not for the copyright holders, which is why they don't really care if the situation continues.

It's interesting to see just how sociopathic Google is becoming now that they are in a position of dominance, and have grown to be a large company. What's interesting about Google's position now is that because they dominate search, and yet make money from ads, the less effective the search is at finding things the better for them - it means they sell more ads to sites desperate to rank well again.

Re:what about themselves? (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40952585)

My annoyance with Google & Youtube is now they eliminated "search video" as an option. It's "search youtube" which is annoying when I'm specifically trying to find Non-youtube video sites like vimeo or hulu or redtube. [] Thanks! You gave me something to watch this weekend. Of course the reality is many of those "full movies" are just 5 minute videos telling users to go visit some website (usually non-functional). Some of those "full movies" ask for a credit card when you try to watch them & therefore are legitimate/legal (for example American Reunion). That leaves very few actual pirated movies on youtube.

Re:what about themselves? (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#40952147)

YouTube has deals with most of the copyright holders, and infringing stuff is either pulled or gets ads put on it.

On the other hand if another website had similar deals Google would still most likely mod that website down giving Google an unfair advantage. They are setting themselves up as a sort of a gate watcher and I cannot help but wonder how quickly that will backfire.

Re:what about themselves? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952495)

Don't forget about Google book scanning...

Beginning of.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951695)

..the end of google :P

. . . The end of Google . . . (2)

mmell (832646) | about 2 years ago | (#40951769)

And the beginning of the next search giant.

Or is anybody here naive enough to believe that nobody will want to fill the incredibly lucrative market which Google appears ready to abandon?

Re:. . . The end of Google . . . (2, Insightful)

Thoguth (203384) | about 2 years ago | (#40952061)

And the beginning of the next search giant.

Or is anybody here naive enough to believe that nobody will want to fill the incredibly lucrative market which Google appears ready to abandon?

You mean that of a "good search engine?"

Google used to be the good search engine. They've already abandoned it. Do a search for a monetize-able term like "insurance." You'll get 7 ads before you get a single search result. Google is an ad engine, not a search engine.

I switched my Chrome bar to duckduckgo a few months ago... I don't have anything against Google. They make a great browser, awesome web mail, and cars that drive themselves. But their search engine is no longer of quality... this isn't even a "final nail", just yet another symptom.

Re:Beginning of.. (4, Informative)

Grumbleduke (789126) | about 2 years ago | (#40952071)

No, the beginning was when they removed perfectly reasonable terms from auto-complete (such as "torrent"). Or was it when they started removing search results based on DMCA notices? Or was it when they implemented the mess that is ContentID?

Google really needs to learn to stop appeasing the MPAA, IFPI, et al.; the more concessions it gives them, the more they seem to demand.

If the IFPI and MPAA are finding their "legal" sites* being too low in search rankings, there is a reason for this. And it isn't that Google is rubbish. Google search is designed (one hopes) to direct end users to what they are looking for. Not direct end users to whatever the IFPI, MPAA or whoever want them to see. If people do a search for "[artist] mp3 download", chances are they're not looking for Spotify or iTunes. If there were sites, optimised for search, that offered a similar (or better) service than the dodgy, dubiously-legal ones, we wouldn't have this problem.

*Sites are neither legal or illegal; their operators and users may or may not be acting illegally in various jurisdictions, however these groups don't tend to care about that - they only care about which sites send a cut back to them. Hence their war against the Russian/Ukrainian music sites which operate under national collective licensing systems (soon to role out in the UK), but don't complain when sites such as iTunes or Amazon get caught infringing copyright. Plus there was that little matter with the CRIA not paying however many decades of royalties, and being sued for millions over that...

Re:Beginning of.. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40952475)

No, that was when they stopped searching for what I asked them to search for and began searching for what they think I wanted to search for.

Wow. Really? (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40951715)

This has "BAD IDEA" written all over it. Google is going to tweak their ranking based on how many URL removal notices it has received? I smell both a new skill being marketed by SEOs, a new strategy employed by scummy companies to up their ranking, and just a total nightmare for anyone trying to compete with the big content boys. Start making real inroads in content delivery? Get hit by automated takedown notices brought by more-or-less acknowledged affiliates of big content, and watch your Google ranking drop. Maybe this will signal the recurrence of search engines like dogpile.

Re:Wow. Really? (5, Interesting)

Blue Stone (582566) | about 2 years ago | (#40951781)

Getting into the content business will be the death of Google as an honest broker of information.

Re:Wow. Really? (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40951943)

Google... an honest broker of information.

Thanks for the chuckle!

Re:Wow. Really? (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40952261)

... will be the death of Google as an honest broker of information.

They ceased being an honest broker when they filed their IPO. Look at Facebook; It went from an amazingly simple and useful website to a horribly bloated content platform that most of its users' dislike but can't quit it because all their friends are on it. Google has become like that: Everybody uses google services, but not because they're better, just that they're popular.

A lot of this crap is due to centralization; ICANN screwing up the DNS namespace in order to turn a buck, the UN screaming at them to give up control and all the politics that goes into that... Google becoming the de facto search engine, and then all the gaming of the system and inevitable government control over it (searching for certain terms while logged in, or sent from your IP address that you were previously logged in from can get you on a watch list now), etc. It seems that the moment a utility service online tries to 'monetize', it turns to shit.

It's clear that Google is reaching the end of its useful life as a search engine; It only continues to command marketshare now because of momentum and a lack of alternatives, not because it is innovative, efficient, or fair.

I imagine that in the not too distant future, someone will design a P2P content distribution network with onion routing and encryption similar to Tor, but capable of decentralized information storage similar to Freenet, we'll be a lot closer to seeing this business model going out of business.

On top of such a network, one would need to build a namespace resolution service; I would suggest it be based on geopolitical boundaries, followed by function, then unique name, but the organizational scheme doesn't matter as long as it is consistent and easy to navigate and update. Each sovereign entity would register its own key with the root service, and after that, they can do what they want... rather than ICANN, you'd have something more like international waters -- you can fly under any flag you want. Otherwise, have a .default namespace for services that do not want to fly a flag (pirates? Yarr!) ... The rest of the technical details I'm sure you can fill in.

After those two steps are done, the last would be an indexing service. Google had the right idea; The number of links to a given webpage is a good initial indicator of its value, with some massaging of the data to remove auto-generated pages, etc. But as an alternative to Google's bogosort method, I'd suggest a trust network; If A visits a lot of the same sites as B, then there's a reasonable chance that if B ranks a site positively, A will like it too, so give it a bump in the ratings. Do this enough and clusters of users will emerge automatically on the network. If you rate something badly, then the system lowers the implicit trust level. You can also explicitly trust certain identities, like friends or whatever... similar to how Slashdot has 'friends' and 'foes', but a bit more refined. That trust data doesn't have to be exchanged; After the search results are downloaded, the client would resort the data before pushing it up to the application.

I believe many people would happily trade a few extra seconds of search time and a higher bandwidth cost to use a search engine that was truly 'neutral' algorithmically, and used a trust network for rankings instead of Google's bogosort method. Obviously, my implimentation will have some problems, as any other pre-prototype idea would, but I think what I've described is useful enough as a starting point to thinking of a return to the roots of the internet; We've gotten trapped into thinking of everything as a client/server model, or as content platforms, and all making little islands out of our content. The web wasn't designed this way; It was explicitly designed to allow you to see an image on another person's website, and then link it on your own page. Copyright law screwed that up.

I think it's time to rebalance things; We need an 'international waters' sort of system for the internet to balance the concerns of individual countries' concerns about copyright and trademark law with the right of every human being to freely exchange data. A Tor-like super-network would provide the privacy and security necessary to prevent countries from censoring ships (peers) in international waters, and the namespace system would balance geopolitical considerations with individual freedoms; It would allow governments to shut down rogue websites flying under its own flag, but prevent those governments from interfering with the affairs of any other, or those who fly under no one's flag.

Re:Wow. Really? (2)

Aguazul2 (2591049) | about 2 years ago | (#40951785)

Agree absolutely -- they received "4.3 million URL removal requests in the past 30 days alone". I'm sure an army of bots can increase this by a few orders of magnitude as soon as they realize they've got a lever into the pagerank algorithm. Sounds like the end of Google being any use for anything. What are we left with ... Bing!?

Re:Wow. Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951849)

Bing is powered by Google.

Re:Wow. Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951827)

This is the kind of stuff that will reduce the relevancy of the Google search, and ultimately Google itself. Even questionable sites contain relevant content. Users will migrate from Google to the next big thing

Re:Wow. Really? (1)

MacBurn11 (2430370) | about 2 years ago | (#40952029)

Users will migrate from Google to the next Bing thing


Re:Wow. Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952223)

except that bing uses google's results.

Re:Wow. Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952335)

From TFA:

Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site

Emphasis mine. The summary is more misleading than usual.

Re:Wow. Really? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40952473)

Time to submit some bulk takedowns for, etc. It's the new Google bomb.

What is a search engine? (5, Insightful)

Tei (520358) | about 2 years ago | (#40951717)

If a search engine abandon neutrality this way. Then why not avoid violent sites? porn sites? sites with bad spelling? sites that are not political correct? where is the line here?. You must have a line, that you will never cross, because some people will push you more and more.

Re:What is a search engine? (4, Interesting)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about 2 years ago | (#40951739)

If a search engine abandon neutrality this way. Then why not avoid violent sites? porn sites? sites with bad spelling? sites that are not political correct? where is the line here?. You must have a line, that you will never cross, because some people will push you more and more.

Worse than that, by doing this, they're showing, legally, that they CAN do this. Which means the next time some RIAA shitwaffle decides to Google for their latest "Generic Movie Content" blockbuster and finds it, welp, that means it's Google's fault now...

Re:What is a search engine? (0)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 2 years ago | (#40951797)

Mod parent up for creative use of "shitwaffle"

Thanks for laugh...

Re:What is a search engine? (4, Funny)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40951841)

Perhaps you'll enjoy "fucksocks" too. It makes a good interjection.

Re:What is a search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952333)

Indeed.. it removes their safe harbor provision.. meaning that any time someone types into the chrome address bar and returns any result other than legal content in the country of the person searching they are acting as facilitator to copyright infringement.

Which is why its funny as hell that Google is even trying to have a music/movies/tv store.. a more forward thinking company would have never done "play" they would have left it as the android market and embraced "all stores are open to android" mindset.. conveniently sidestepping the issue.. instead of trying to emulate apple in a half assed manner.

Re:What is a search engine? (3, Funny)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#40951875)

"Then why not avoid [...] sites with bad spelling?"

That one actually sounds like a good idea ! :)

Re:What is a search engine? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40952603)

I wouldn't be surprised if they already employ some version of that, at least in some contexts. They include all sorts of non-public "content quality" signals nowadays; it's no longer primarily based on the link graph like it was in the PageRank days.

Re:What is a search engine? (4, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 2 years ago | (#40951889)

I get what you mean but what you mean does not include the word "neutral". Every search engine algorithm is based on the premise of promoting some content and lowering other so that the users can better find what they want. There is nothing even a little bit neutral about that. Neutral would be taking all matching search results and running them through a randomizing algorithm.

Re:What is a search engine? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40951965)

Then why not avoid violent sites? porn sites?

depends, how much are they willing to pay to get a good ranking back? Gun's are a profitable business, so they're probably safe. Profitable porn purveyors are probably safe.

Bad spellers, well... that's everyone. So that shouldn't be a problem.

political correct

I suspect this happens already around election time in the US. Campaigns will pay to have their results over top of the other guy, he who has the most money available wins sort of thing. In this they are competing with (relatively) neutral parties who are trying to drive advertising dollars on news sites and blogs, but those guys are small fry compared to campaign spending in the US.

I suspect though general political correctness google already censors depending on where you are. Think china, muslim countries, germany that sort of thing.

Re:What is a search engine? (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | about 2 years ago | (#40952001)

Search engines don't have to be "neutral". Neutral isn't meaningful anyways, since search engines are all about discrimination and ranking (finding what will please the user the most), and there are many alternative ways of doing so.
Different search engines can offer different features. That's called competition.

You obviously failed to RTFA (4, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#40952231)

Here's the high points from the blog posting:

(1) It's going to be added to the list of over 200 signals, whic meands that if they were equally weighted and there were exactly 200 of them, you are talking about a 0.5% difference in ranking

(2) It may reduce where it appears in the results (read this as: it will not remove it from the results).

Google dropping something from search results because of some editorial policy would make them legally liable when something bad gets through anyway (check out the disclaimers on the "safe search" setting). And given the general bent, they are doubly unlikely to do anything simply to make RIAA/MPAA happier about what's generally acknowledged to be an obsolete business model.

Re:What is a search engine? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40952293)

They will go there too, dont worry. They have to start somewhere, the Sith was not created overnight either.

The *only* line will be profit. Which is too bad, as they were making quite a bit of money and still trying to do the right thing. I guess greed has taken over.

Re:What is a search engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952329)

They already do avoid a lot of that. The porn and violent sites primarily. You have to either turn off safe search or craft your search such that it's obvious that that's the sort of thing you're after. Even more, if you don't turn on verbatim they mask things that they figure are outside of the sort of thing you care about.

Not trying to defend Google here, I dislike a lot of these practices (although I appreciate "safe search" as it's essentially a SFW filter) but it's inline with what they already do. The difference is that this one isn't being requested by users, it's being paid for (whether they admit it or not) by content producers. And that hearkens back to the days of paid for search result order. (5, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | about 2 years ago | (#40951725)

Include "" or similar in your search query. You can even create a Firefox bookmark like this:

Give it a keyword (e.g., "tpb") and then when you type in the URL bar:

tpb FOO

Firefox will search for "FOO" at Problem solved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951847)

In Opera you just go to a site with a search field, right click into it, select "Create Search" and give it a keyword. (1)

MacBurn11 (2430370) | about 2 years ago | (#40952123)

In Firefox you can do the same (right click the search field, select "add a keyword for this search"). But with his method you get google to search on instead of using the sites own search function. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952479)

Obviously you can do that with Opera as well but what's the advantage with this method? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#40952537)

Does Firefox have its own search engine? It would be great for them to set one up in competition with Google, turnabout is fair play after all, but I fear Google paying them so much money might put the kibosh on that. A fully fledged open source search engine with a behemoth like Firefox behind it, now that would be something to behold.

Wonder where it will stick the pirates bay? (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 2 years ago | (#40951727)

Amusingly, it might stick the pirates bay somewhere WAY down on the rankings, basically making it "unsearchable" directly. But, sites that link to the pirates bay and talk about how it's a wretched hive of scum and villainy will be riding right on top of the rankings.

Bing ahoy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951735)

if this is true I am sure Bing will see a rise in its user base for sure.

Pipedream of the day: (2, Interesting)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 2 years ago | (#40951801)

Google will also start punishing site owners who make false claims.

Re:Pipedream of the day: (1)

SammyIAm (1348279) | about 2 years ago | (#40952571)

This is my biggest concern with them implementing this strategy. I could understand lowering the rank of sites that legitimately infringe copyrights (though even then I'd probably look for another search engine), but since there's zero punishment for making false claims it seems like this will only punish sites that "right holders" want punished, regardless of their merit or relevance.

Youtube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951805)

Does this mean youtube won't show up in the results as often? I would suspect they are the worst offenders for takedown notices. This has poor planning written all over it.

The future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951839)

Well, I guess Bing has a bright future now :p

My conspiracy theory (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 2 years ago | (#40951879)

Now that Google is dealing in "content" (movies/music), it makes sense that they'd want to push the "other" sites down or out. Not that I agree with this choice.

It'll be interesting to see if Google Play's ranking in the search results start to "mysteriously" climb. /tinfoil

How lame... (1)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 years ago | (#40951911)

So, Google is finally tired of waiting for Bing to catch up (or they just feel so sorry for their miserable attempts at getting a market share) so they will try to screw up their own searches instead to give competitors a chance?
Google, how about you try to weed out the useless full of ads pages with fake/copy-pasted content that get top placements in the results instead of trying to be copyright police? With the search result quality decreasing dangerously the last few years, these kinds of algorithm tweaks are the wrong way.

Pirate terrorists ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40951945)


So what is there to replace "Ossama Bin Laden" on my search prefixes?

I am sure that they have got used to me asking for Pirate copies of weather charts osama bin laden by mustafa now koran islamic North Atlantic terrrrrrsts.

So what else are they tweaking? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#40951971)

So they'll punish pirate sites but how do we know that's it? Even if it is just pirate sites now, we can pretty much assume it'll be something else next.

So, do we cut out Google now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952015)

Where are all those open source distributed search engines?
Anyone have a good list of them? Or a list of ones that collect together search results from multiple sources?

Now that Google is corrupt, their worth as anything is close to reaching 0. (they are still a source, which is why not 0)
Seems the Google dream is dying. It really was too good to be true.

Time to make my own e-mail server.

Kill my competitors (2, Insightful)

Gutboy (587531) | about 2 years ago | (#40952057)

1) Form shell company
2) Have shell company send take down notices about my competitors website
3) Watch them vanish from the search results
4) Profit!

How about penalizing fake / useless sites? (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#40952069)

Take Hulu. They pollute global search rankings by pretending to host movies, then refuse to serve any content because you're not in the US. Google, in turn, pretends to serve results that are relevant to your location - and still give back tons of Hulu results regardless of where you are.

Google, the "Boss Nass" of Search. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952077)

Dose sites, they are to be puuu-nished. Dey thinkin' dey so smarty and dey brains so big. Be gone with them!

Ooooh, you're so smart, Google. Now speed me on my way to DuckDuckGo!

I don't really mind at all (1)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#40952087)

If I just search for the name of a song or something, chances are I -am- looking for a legitimate source like youtube. If I want a torrent, I'll just append "torrent" to the end of the search. Or, you know, search on a dedicated torrent-searching site instead of google, cause that often works better anyway.

Re:I don't really mind at all (2)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#40952113)

Side-note: most of the hits you get when you try to google for illegal media of that variety, are usually fake sites that either want you to pay (most likely for nothing anyway, even if you did), or are just making money off ad hits. And when you do get a file-locker site, most of the time it's expired. So screw them anyway, they mostly deserve to be downranked in listings.

Paid placement (1)

KPU (118762) | about 2 years ago | (#40952109)

Let's call it what it is. Google is accepting payment from big media, in the form of reduced media licensing costs, to rank big media sites higher. While still claiming to not accept payment for ranking.

When... (1)

Edis Krad (1003934) | about 2 years ago | (#40952129)

...did "do no evil" changed to "do necessary evil"

and until how long before it's just plain "do evil"?

Re:When... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40952337)

Or 'redefine evil'

Just search for it, we will tell you what evil is ( this week ).

In the beginning (0)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#40952135)

Google initially obliterated all competition and provided a truly awesome search engine. Personally, I have observed them getting worse since. Yes, some aspects have improved, but I think their direction is now clear enough to suggest that finally, after such failed attempts as Cuil, opportunity for competition is presenting itself again.

I remember before or around 2008, Youtube changed their search results and related-video function. Previously, Youtube was a rather amazing resource for discovering new things inadvertently. Then they fragmented and obstructed this previously excellent system and along with their web-results, went totally fucking stupid and began personalizing results [] based on IP addresses, which effectively slaughters objectivity in search results.

All signs indicate that it's time to move away from google. But of course, this is difficult -- if not impossible -- after placing such widespread large-scale reliance upon them. And call me troll all you'd like, but we really don't need to be assisting the NSA through google anyway. And yeah, they do have a partnership. And no, they don't delete any information at all. Someone once referred to google as the "Artificial Intelligence Manhattan Project", a thought at the very least worthy of believable fiction.

What I think we should consider, is building a p2p, torrent-based distributed internet. Censorship would have difficulty thriving and the fault tolerance should be pretty good. Challenging though. And I have no idea how the search would work. But with continued dependency on google, I expect the internet to get more exciting and flashy, but ultimately worse.

Re:In the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952277)

And yeah, they do have a partnership

[citation needed]

Re:In the beginning (0)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#40952395)

"[citation needed]"
Yes, citing classified subjects is most effective. Just file another FOIA and they'll both get back with you ASAP.

In case you missed the obvious, we've been having a bit of trouble in the US with transparency.
But if it tickles your pickle to know; both have declined to comment on the subject, which I guess for people like yourself, means it's impossible, because you are a very tender and trusting sort of chap. Regarding the citation, I recommending asking Santa for Christmas. Surely you've been good enough!

The most-targeted domains (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40952155)

The most-targeted domains?,,, and

Two search engines and two torrent sites that don't host any files?
Is that what the DMCA is supposed to be used for?

Isohunt has put up a post discussing the matter []

What's missing on Google's DMCA notices report? Youtube. The by far largest video content website in the world ought to have very high volume of DMCA notices, if not the most, and it's inconspicuously missing from the list. To downrank and censor any website that's not Google's that receives a high number of DMCA notices? Sounds exactly like antitrust to me.

Despite his lack of proofreading, he manages to make several other valid points.

Goodbye, Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952177)

It's been nice knowing you. Who's got the URL for the next search engine giant?

The new paternalism (1, Interesting)

guanxi (216397) | about 2 years ago | (#40952203)

Authorities such as major companies and governments have adopted a new paternalism: They know what is best for you, and will do it without your consent and often with transparency.

Consider the greatly diminished respect for privacy (e.g., the tracking and monitoring by government and corporations alike), for end-user control (authorities decide what software you can install, whether and when it updates, what websites you can visit, what files you can store, etc.).

From Apple to government, they claim it provides a better user experience. Your computer works better, you are more secure, etc. And they don't reveal what they know or are doing.

As long as the user experience is good, no one seems to mind.

Once you start down this path.. (3, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40952271)

The logical destination is evil. Just ask Anakin.

Google can either stay agnostic, or will become just as bad as the rest and will be tossed aside at some point in the not to distant future.

Lol (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40952285)

Social policies implemented with technology. They haven't learned, and continue to refuse to.

The blowback from this will probably be the eventual destruction of Google itself.

Error in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952305)

not torrent sites or data lockers like the famous MegaUpload

There, fixed that for you.

And what about those of us outside the US (3, Informative)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 2 years ago | (#40952409)

I'd be really happy to use Hulu or get the same content on Netflix as US users but due to an artificial restriction I am unable to. I don't want to have to pay for a proxy or VPN I want to get the same content that is available to US users (and Canadians?). I speak the same language and I have money. Feel free to offer me a product and you can have some of that money.

A good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952457)

So if a site is bad, It won't come up on the search results.
Which also - Hides it away from the Media dicks searches - They never see it anymore and think it's gone!


Go ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40952561)

If Google starts doing this then maybe I can start being the cool kid on the block again, knowing all the "obscure" websites from which people can get their fix from.

On a more serious note, Google has made it too easy to find stuff. remember the good old days where you'd have to sniff out dozens of hyperlinks before you found what you were looking for?

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