Continued progress on fighting piracy

Today we’re publishing a refreshed How Google Fights Piracy report, which explains how we combat piracy across our services. This new version updates many of the numbers from the 2013 version and lists a few other developments in the past year:
  • Ad formats. We’ve been testing new ad formats in search results on queries related to music and movies that help people find legitimate sources of media. For the relatively small number of queries for movies that include terms like “download,”  “free,” or “watch,” we’ve begun to show the following:
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We’re also testing other ways of pointing people to legitimate sources of music and movies, including in the right-hand panel on the results page:
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These results show in the U.S. only, but we plan to continue investing in this area and plan to expand internationally.
  • An improved DMCA demotion signal in Search. In August 2012 we first announced that we would downrank sites for which we received a large number of valid DMCA notices. We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites. This update will roll out globally starting next week.
  • Removing more terms from autocomplete, based on DMCA removal notices. We’ve begun demoting autocomplete predictions that return results with many DMCA demoted sites.

Every day our partnership with the entertainment industry deepens. Just this month we launched a collaboration with Paramount Pictures to promote their upcoming film “Interstellar” with an interactive website. And Content ID (our system for rightsholders to easily identify and manage their content on YouTube) recently hit the milestone of enabling more than $1 billion in revenue to the content industry.

In addition to strengthening these relationships, we continue to invest in combating piracy across all our services.

Posted by Katherine Oyama, Sr. Copyright Policy Counsel


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Report: How Google fights piracy

Posted by Fred von Lohmann, Legal Director, Copyright


More music, video, text and software is being created on the Internet by more people in more places than ever before. Every kind of creative endeavor, both amateur and professional, is being transformed by the new opportunities and lower costs made possible by digital tools and online distribution. But copyright infringement remains a problem online, and Google is working hard to tackle it.

Today, we are releasing a report, “How Google Fights Piracy,” bringing together in one place an overview of the programs, policies, and technologies we have put in place to combat piracy online. Here are few highlights:

  • Better Legal Alternatives: The best way to fight piracy is with better, convenient, legal alternatives. On YouTube and Play, Google is committed to creating those compelling alternatives for users. Each time a music fan chooses YouTube or Play over an unauthorized source, for example, it’s a victory against piracy. And thousands of copyright owners now use Content ID on YouTube to elect to monetize user-generated content on YouTube, rather than take it down, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties from Google each year.
  • Follow the Money: When it comes to rogue sites that specialize in online piracy, other anti-piracy strategies will have limited effect so long as there is money to be made by their operators. As a global leader in online advertising, Google is committed to rooting out and ejecting rogue sites from our advertising services, to ensure that they are not being misused to fund these sites. In 2012, we disabled ad serving to more than 46,000 sites for violating our copyright policies, the vast majority detected through our proactive efforts. We are also working with other leaders in the industry to craft best practices aimed at raising standards across the entire online advertising industry. 
  • Removing Infringing Results from Search: When it comes to Search, Google is a leader in addressing the concerns of copyright owners, responding to more copyright removal notices, and faster, than ever before. During 2012, copyright owners and their agents sent us removal notices for more than 57 million web pages. Our turnaround time on those notices was, on average, less than 6 hours. That’s faster than we managed in 2011, despite a 15-fold increase in the volume of requests. 

Hundreds of Google employees work on the problem of piracy online, and we will continue to work with copyright owners to focus our energies on combating the problem.


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Ad Networks Agree on Industry Best Practices to Combat Piracy and Counterfeiting

Posted by Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations


With more than 30 trillion individual pages on the web, online piracy and counterfeit remains a challenge. Google takes that challenge seriously. Using cutting-edge technology like YouTube’s Content ID and innovative copyright removal tools for Web Search, we develop and deploy antipiracy solutions with the support of hundreds of Google employees.  In addition to developing legitimate, innovative, and convenient content offerings (such as Google Play and YouTube, through which our partners together generate hundreds of millions of dollars), we continue to develop solutions to help fight piracy and counterfeit online. We think one of the most effective ways to do this is to cut off the money supply to rogue sites that specialize in piracy or counterfeit. To that end, in 2012 we disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites for violating our policies on copyright infringing content and shut down more than 82,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods. Nearly 99% of our account suspensions were discovered through our own detection efforts and risk models.  


There’s always more that can be done by the industry to starve these infringing sites of advertising revenues. Today, working with the White House’s Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and other leading ad networks, we are pleased to participate in a set of voluntary Best Practices and Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting.  Under these best practices, Ad Networks will maintain and post policies prohibiting websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy from participating in the Ad Network’s advertising programs. By working across the industry, these best practices should help reduce the financial incentives for pirate sites by cutting off their revenue supply while maintaining a healthy Internet and promoting innovation.  


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European consumers embrace online content

The Internet has been disruptive for the media industries – film, television, gaming, music, books and news. But it’s now becoming clear that whilst initially painful, this disruption is proving positive, as three recent studies released by Booz & Co, Floor 64 Research, and Boston Consulting Group show. The digital era is starting to benefit both Europe’s content producers and consumers.

Boston Consulting Group’s “Follow the Surplus” report (disclosure: commissioned by Google), published this week reveals growing confidence in online content. Three quarters of consumers surveyed in nine European countries judged that online content had improved in quality, and nearly two thirds expect continued improvement.

The report also noted that two-thirds of respondents value the diversity of information and opinions available to them online, and substantial majorities (as high as 75% in some countries) are more excited about the benefits of the Internet than they are worried about any perceived risks.

This optimism is generating a large ‘consumer surplus’ – the theoretical value consumers attribute to a product or service above and beyond what they paid for it – valued at an average of EUR 1,100 per person per year for online media.

It’s clear too that European consumers are increasingly willing to pay for content. Booz’s report (disclosure: also commissioned by Google) calculates digital revenues at €30 billion higher in 2011 than in 2001. Floor 64’s research shows that in 2007, there were just 11 legal digital music services in Germany, in 2011 there were 68. The British Recorded Music Industry’s recent annual report says UK digital music revenues last year overtook sales or records and CDs for the first time. And according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s Digital Music Report 2013, digital revenues now account for 34% of total global revenues for the recording industry.

These reports all paint a picture of a large digital opportunity for the creative sectors – and of an industry in the process of reorienting itself to the online world. We’re keen to partner with the creative sectors and answer growing consumer demand for quality online media.

Posted by Simon Morrison, Public Policy Manager, Google
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Music to your ears! Five more countries get Google Play Music

Today music lovers in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal can join their European neighbours in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, and buy their favourite songs and albums on Google Play, our digital entertainment destination for Android devices and the web.

Music first launched on Google Play in Europe in November 2012, and the fast rollout to more countries today is due to the multi-territorial licensing process, as recommended by the European Commission last year. We have 14 multi-territorial licenses for composition rights covering Europe and representing the vast majority of the world’s music, and have recently welcomed the members of AKM/AUME in Austria, SABAM in Belgium, SPA in Portugal, and IMRO in Ireland into our growing list of author’s society partners.

Google Play makes it easy for you to buy your favourite songs and albums, and instantly add them to your music library. You can add up to 20,000 songs from your existing music collection to Google Play instantly, and listen to your music from any computer or Android phone or tablet, even when you’re offline.

To coincide with Google Play Music’s launch in these five new countries, we’re also launching artist hub – a platform for independent artists to sell their music directly to fans. In the artist hub, self-published artists can create a profile, upload their music files, suggest a retail price, and sell their music on Google Play.

According to a Nielsen/Billboard’s recent Music Industry Report, overall music purchases are at a record high, driven by digital sales. Sales of digital albums were up 14 per cent in 2012, while sales of digital tracks grew by five per cent last year, meaning overall music sales were up more than three per cent compared to 2011.

As people’s love affair with great music continues, so too will our commitment to bringing Google Play to more countries around the world.

Posted by Sami Valkonen, head of international music partnerships, Google Play
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