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Google Plans To Take Copyright Content Down Quicker

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Google will take down disputed copyright content on its search and Blogger sites within 24 hours

Google plans to improve its copyright and piracy protection procedures, including processing copyright take-down requests for content within 24 hours.

The search engine division said it is building tools to improve the submission process to make it easier for rights holders to submit takedown requests for Google products, beginning with Web search and Blogger, in accordance with the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Handling A Deluge Of Requests

These tools, which will roll out in 2011, will help reduce Google’s response time to 24 hours or less, said Google general counsel Kent Walker.

“We respond expeditiously to requests to remove such content from our services and have been improving our procedures over time,” Walker said in a blog post. “But as the Web grows and the number of requests grows with it, we are working to develop new ways to better address the underlying problem.”

Google will also prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in its autocomplete search feature, which offers searches that might be similar to the ones users are typing.

Google also vowed to pare privacy for its AdSense third-party advertising network, working with rights holders to locate and jettison violators from the programme.

Taking down copyrighted content from Google search is the big news here. Google currently removes copyrighted content on its YouTube video-sharing Website within a few hours after rights holders use Google’s take-down tools, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.

This expediency was born out of necessity following Google’s long-running copyright infringement case with Viacom, which sued Google and YouTube for gross copyright infringement.

Google won a summary judgment versus Viacom in the case in June from a court that claimed YouTube was protected under safe harbour provisions in the DMCA.

While YouTube has adjusted to pull content quickly, thanks to a Content ID system that identifies unauthorised clips as they are uploaded and let rights holders take them down immediately, there is currently no rapid removal process in Google search results. Takedown requests for Google search may take days or weeks to process, if they get processed at all.

A Google spokesperson said this is because Google receives “a much larger proportion of defective and incomplete notices, which slows down the process”.

“By building better tools and processes, starting with Blogger and Web search, we can make it easier for copyright owners to submit complete takedown requests that we can act on in 24 hours or less,” Google said.

The timing of these copyright and piracy combating procedures is interesting. Viacom is filing an appeal with the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals to get the ruling against it overturned.