The group that oversees the recording industry is taking to the microphone this week, blasting Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in its algorithmic efforts to demote music-piracy Web sites in its search results to discourage piracy of copyrighted music. Google announced some anti-piracy changes to its search algorithm last summer, but the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says that Google hasn't done enough and it's affecting their artists and studios.
In response to an anti-piracy push by the RIAA, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) last August announced changes to its search algorithm that would demote web sites that had "high numbers" of copyright-infringement removal notices for digital music featured on those sites, pushing those sites off the front page of search results. However, a recent RIAA report of search results and traffic seems to suggest that the Web sites have figured out getting around the algorithm.
The RIAA claimed that these alleged piracy sites were showing up in Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) search results more readily than legitimate music-sharing sites., and that these "illegitimate" sites were showing up on page 1 of search results about "98 percent" of the time. “Whatever Google has done, it doesn’t appear to be working,” the report said.
Several known pirate sites have been the source of more than 100,000 removal notices each to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) - which has an obligation by federal law to remove such offending links from its search results - yet they are continually appearing in the top 10 of Google search results. If Google receives a removal notice and does not act to remove the link, federal law may dictate that Google itself could be found to be infringing copyrights.
What do you think? Should Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) be held responsible for copyright infringement? Should the RIAA pursue some action against Google, and would demoting piracy sites actually help the music industry? We'd like your thoughts in the comments below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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