Google Won't Recommend Most Popular Searches If It Thinks It Might Sorta Have Something To Do With Piracy

from the does-mp3-count? dept

In the last few months, there's been a growing movement by the entertainment industry to blame Google for "piracy." One of the favorite talking points is the claim that Google is "profiting from piracy," by linking people to sites that point people to unauthorized infringing copies of content, and then placing ads on those sites. Of course, this ignores the fact that the standard "pirate" out there isn't exactly the sort of person who goes around clicking on ads either -- and is probably a hell of a lot more likely to ignore the ads entirely or use something like Adblock. Either way, it seems like Google has decided to try to end this argument for the industry by announcing some basic changes in how it deals with copyright complaints.

Specifically, it aims to respond faster to DMCA notices -- while also providing better counternotice tools. Of course, as we've discussed, there have been some problems with the existing takedown process, where people have complained about entire blogs and blogposts disappearing due to unclear copyright claims. A little over a year ago, the company claimed it had revamped its DMCA takedown process for Blogger at least, so it's not clear how much of this new effort is revamping that old fix or just expanding it.

The company also says it'll be more diligent in rejecting AdSense on sites that provide infringing content. This was the key point that the industry folks were complaining about all the time, though I'd imagine (as noted above) that Google really isn't giving up much here at all, as I would doubt those sites actually bring in much revenue anyway. What is a little concerning is how, exactly, Google determines what sites are "providing infringing materials." After all, some argue that Google itself does that. Google is free to deny AdSense to whoever they want, so this isn't a huge deal, but contrary to the industry's claims, it's not always easy to tell what sites provide infringing materials and which do not. This should be clear from Homeland Security's seizing of the domains of some blogs that the industry regularly used to promote their own works.

The other thing that Google is doing is apparently preventing "terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete." This is in response to the complaint that when people use Google and do a search on a song or a movie, autocomplete often shows that the top search for that song or movie is the title and something like the word "bittorrent." Google notes:
While it's hard to know for sure when search terms are being used to find infringing content, we'll do our best to prevent Autocomplete from displaying the terms most frequently used for that purpose.
Again... Google is underplaying just how hard that really is... and just how much this kind of thing changes over time. For example, five years ago, I would imagine that searches for "mp3" were mostly about infringing content. But, because of that, over time, the recording industry was forced to adapt and admit that mp3 wasn't evil and was the preferred format. These days, of course, the entertainment industry insists that "bittorrent" or just "torrent" is somehow a bad term. But five years from now, that might not be the case. Having Google purposely hide such search results has the potential to distort the market in some ways, and actually delay much needed adaptation by the industry.

All in all, these moves aren't a huge surprise, given the complaints of some in the industry, but it'll be worth watching to see if the unintended consequences come back to bite both Google and the industry. Pretending that what's actually happening in the world isn't happening is not exactly a smart business strategy.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    "What's actually happening in the world" is the beginning of a massive crackdown on piracy.

    The only reason piracy got to the state it was, was because of lack of enforcement.

    Those days are gone. Forever.

    That's what's actually happening in the world.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:16pm

      Re:

      "What's actually happening in the world" is the beginning of a massive crackdown on piracy.

      The dream never dies with some people, I guess. Such is the lot of those who do not understand technology and basic trends.

       

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        Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:26pm

        Re: Re:

        The only one not understanding the trend Mike, is you.

        Look at the stuff you've had to write about recently.

        You're in denial.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Look at the stuff you've had to write about recently.


          I see a bunch of really desperate last gasp efforts from a group of folks who don't understand basic technology, thinking that what they'll do will have an impact... all while folks who actually understand what's happening go about their business happily.

          I'm not sure where the "denial" is in there.

           

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            Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh really?

            Well I guess we won't be seeing stories about piracy crackdowns anymore.

            LOL

            ...like say, the fact that Demonoid up and fled their TLD today for one based in Montenegro.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You spelled the Pirate Bay wrong.

               

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              wallow-T, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              re: Demonoid moving its TLD: that's sort of the point. For every measure taken against unauthorized distribution, there is a counter measure.

              Every techie I know -- even the ones opposed to piracy -- started brainstorming ways to work around domain name seizures the day the COICA bill hit the news.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well I guess we won't be seeing stories about piracy crackdowns anymore.


              Heh. You do realize that every one of these "crackdowns" has resulted in more file sharing, not less, right?

              ...like say, the fact that Demonoid up and fled their TLD today for one based in Montenegro.


              Which sort of supports my point, doesn't it? File sharing isn't going away. It's do to stupid moves like thinking these kinds of "crackdowns" are effective that you keep driving people further and further away from opportunities to embrace them and do more with them. You keep shooting yourself in the foot each time and then cheering on how you're killing your toes. It's insanity.

               

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                Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:50pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                LOL
                Yeah, so fleeing to a new domain in Montenegro is going to save them? They're being pushed further underground, out of the mainstream. Which has been the goal the entire time.

                A year from now if you want to use Demonoid you're going to have to move to Montenegro with them. Be sure to send a postcard, I hear it's nice there.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                   

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  A year from now if you want to use Demonoid you're going to have to move to Montenegro with them

                  And thus, our anonymous fool again shows he does not understand technology. Which is exactly what we said at the beginning of this thread.

                  Seriously, for your own good, I would suggest (a) understanding technology and (b) learning what it is that we're actually saying here. In the other thread where we are talking, you have made it clear that you do not even understand what we are saying, blatantly lying and pretending that we're arguing against record labels, when we have said the exact opposite: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101201/06413612076/piracy-is-over-like-web-is-dead.shtml

                  What amazes me is that even after we've proven you wrong, your response isn't to recognize that you've made a mistake, but to simply DENY reality. Again, that was the same point that we kicked off this thread by making.

                   

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                    Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:31pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    ok, so just linked to one of your tirades about the labels where you make sweeping generalizations about how all musicians are paid by all labels. So how did I get tha wrong again?

                    Demonoid can move to Mars if they want. By this time next year COICA will prevent it from being used in the US.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:47pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Dude seriously?
                      Didn't you ever used a proxy in your life?

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 6:48pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Demonoid can move to Mars if they want. By this time next year COICA will prevent it from being used in the US."

                      Do I detect a bit of repressed desperation in your tone?

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Will it also prevent Wikileaks from being used in the US?

                       

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                      PaulT (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:38pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Demonoid can move to Mars if they want. By this time next year COICA will prevent it from being used in the US."

                      ...and if that happens, the other hundreds of thousands of trackers/torrent search sites will take over from what they're doing, as well as increases in encrypted file sharing being encouraged.

                      At what point in all that is "piracy" truly "cracked down" upon?

                       

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                        Anonymous, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:26am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        You forgot to say that "it's a hydra".

                        Get yer shizz together, suckerboy...

                         

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                          anothermike, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:14am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          It is a hydra, but you're no Hercules.
                          The first sites to be taken down in the old guards' crusade were the ones stupid enough to try and work with the media companies. And for every one cut down, several more popped up in its place, each one less willing to submit to the old guard than the last.
                          The current state of affairs has the old media companies desperately searching for all these "underground pirate sites" while the sites themselves connect with fans easier and more conveniently than ever before.

                           

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                  Eugene (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:20pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  HAHAHA, the goal the entire time has been to make them harder to control and more difficult to prosecute? Whatever floats your boat. Or..more accurately - Whatever sinks the ship faster. :p

                   

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                    The Invisible Hand (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:27pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Whatever sinks the ship faster."

                    Shiver me timbers! Sinking ships is our job!

                    Arrr! Stop spoiling the fun!

                     

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:48pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Wait, how does moving to a different URL push them further underground?

                  It doesn't. Such is the nature of the internet.

                   

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                  techflaws.org (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:25pm

                  Bullshit

                  Which has been the goal the entire time.

                  No, THE GOAL WAS TO STOP PIRACY.

                  Now that they moved the domain it continues unabated.

                  Good job!

                   

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                    Anonymous, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:38am

                    Re: Bullshit

                    LOL

                    Piracy existed long before your worthless ass.

                    Back in the vinyl days, they called it bootlegging.

                    I like that term much better than piracy, myself; conjures up images of the Roaring 20's, bathtub gin, all night parties, etc...

                    anyway,

                    The goal of law enforcement isn't to completely stop crime, but to manage it in a way that keeps it from infringing on the rights of society's law abiding citizens.

                    Go do some leeching.

                    Also think about whether or not the world would have been better off had your Dad just pulled out.

                    Feel free to tell us what good you've contributed to the world.

                     

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                      anothermike, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:18am

                      Re: Re: Bullshit

                      Go do some leeching.

                      It's called seeding. Media fans like to keep a high ratio for good karma.

                       

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                        Eugene (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:57pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Bullshit

                        Yeah, leeching is just impolite.

                        Here's one thing pirates have contributed to the world: they're causing record companies to go out of business. They are the REAL leeches; worthless, undeserving brickheads sucking profit from the hands of those who actually do the work. More and more musicians are using Youtube and other social media to go into business for themselves, making far more money being modestly successful than they would ever get being wildly successful within the old-school industry.

                         

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:23pm

                    Re: Bullshit

                    There's no stopping piracy, but there are ways to minimize it. Sad fact of life, stuff isn't generally free. Grow up, give up your latte and pay for what you consume. If you say the content sucks and isn't worth paying for then don't freakin' watch it/listen to it/read it.

                     

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              Karl (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...like say, the fact that Demonoid up and fled their TLD today for one based in Montenegro.

              This is a perfect example of why "anti-piracy" operations actively harm the U.S.

              Demonoid is still as active as they ever were. They are still accessible around the world, including the U.S. No infringement has been halted.

              What this has done is taken money from American tech companies (Verisign) and given them to companies located overseas. If the U.S. government ever gets around to seizing servers, the "pirates" will move to overseas ISP's as well.

              "Good riddance," you say? Well, it's true that ISP's don't make much money on pirate sites. But it won't just be "pirates." It'll be any site that hosts user-generated content, and any site that runs a search engine. Since it's impossible (and immoral) for e.g. a social networking site to monitor their users, even legitimate sites will move all their data to some foreign server farm, "just to be safe."

              You've just killed the U.S. ISP industry, to do something that won't effect piracy at all, and wouldn't create more jobs even if it did. And you've created totalitarianism in the process.

               

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                JEDIDIAH, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:23am

                Collateral Damage

                The entire set of Big Content industries is not worth the collateral damage caused to protect them. This includes the cost in ruined lives, lost business, and increased operating costs to corporations.

                Technology impacts everyone, not just Hollywood. Ruin technology and you harm every company in the Fortune 500 and the Global 1000.

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:45pm

      Re:

      I heard that in the 80's(Don't copy that floppy), I heard that in the 90's and I heard that in the 00's, after all this time you people keep believing, that is impressive.

      In 2020 I bet I will still hear you saying the same thing after increased sharing...oops I mean piracy reach new heights in the 10's.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      http://www.jamendo.com/en/

      Crack on that crazy person.

       

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    Jesse, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:20pm

    If Google consistently doesn't return useful search results that people are looking for, their customers will move on. These initial changes may not affect the actual results, but if they move that way, they will only hurt their bottom line.

     

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    Urias McCullough, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    Important to note that they're just removing "autocomplete" for these terms, not the search results themselves. They already do this for a huge number of "offensive" or "less-than-legal" terms and phrases.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Interesting move

    Note how brilliant this is: they are censoring only the autocomplete, but not the search results. This takes pressure off Google's back ("look, we are doing something!") while still keeping their firm line that they will not meddle with the search results (other than removing specific URLs, while adding the corresponding chillingeffects link).

     

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      anothermike, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:04am

      Re: Interesting move

      I just looked into this. It only affects autocomplete and instant results.
      As we all know, Google let's you filter search results on file type; for example, entering 'filetype:torrent' after your search term cuts out everything that isn't a .torrent file.
      As recently as last weekend, autocomplete and instant results would start showing you links immediately. But since this change earlier in the week, you get no results until you hit 'Enter'. Google still provides all the same results as before, it just takes an extra key press.
      The end result is that the ostriches get to bury their heads in the sand where they can't see us continuing on with business as usual. I'd like to extend my congratulations to them on their success.

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

    Once companies roll-over to appease a special interest group to "block" so-called offending material; every special interest group will start demanding the right to block content or to even force feed you specific content.

    Amazon.com has apparently caved in to government demands to block access to Wikileaks.

    Want to checkout the lunch specials at the McDonalds website, well you can after viewing a PETA presentation on how McDonalds abuses animals. Michelle Obama may even have a government sponsored video offering some friendly advice on "healthy" food alternatives to McDonalds. The future of the internet.

     

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      Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:54pm

      Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

      Following the law: Good

      Breaking the law: Bad

      See? That wasn't so hard. So glad I could relieve you of your FUD.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:59pm

        Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

        Following the law: Good

        Breaking the law: Bad

        See? That wasn't so hard. So glad I could relieve you of your FUD.


        I assume you don't use a VCR, DVR or an MP3 player or anything like that, right? After all, when those all came out, your favorite industry declared them all to be breaking the law, and thus, bad.

        Which is, again, the point that we're making which you seem to have so much trouble understanding.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:00pm

        Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

        Listening to Jamendo = Good
        Listening to labels = Bad

        http://www.jamendo.com/en/

        Discover the true value of free music


        See? That wasn't so hard. So glad I could relieve you of your FUD.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:35pm

          Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

          Enjoy your Jamendo.

          I tried it and couldn't find a single artist worth listening to.

          That shit is free because they know it isn't worth anything.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            Thanks I enjoy it very much.

            But the aspect that I enjoy most is that I'm not paying you anything LoL

            Can you force me to buy anything from you?

             

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            The Invisible Hand (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            Then you are doing it wrong.

            I was skeptical about jamendo when I first heard of it, but once I started listening, I can't stop.

            Here's my personal list of favorite artists I found till now (I hope I don't get the names wrong):

            - Talco (Combat rock...or so they call it)
            - Mortad Hell (metal...not great, but they have some songs I enjoyed)
            - Diablo Swing Orchestra (this one is just great. Not sure how to classify it, but I'd call it metal)
            - Melqurt (rock/metal)
            - Prana Yama (Techno)

            Try them if you dare. But I bet you won't. Your type is afraid of trying something new. I'll keep expanding my musical horizons, and I'll keep refusing to eat the mainstream crap your kind keeps trying to shove down my throat.

             

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              Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

              Diablo Swing Orchestra

              As soon as he said that, I thought "Apparently he hasn't heard the Diablo Swing Orchestra!"

              Good call, sir.

               

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              anothermike, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

              Hey, more new artists to check out. I'd been getting sick of all the mainstream major label 'beiber-fied' dreck. Thanks!

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 6:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            Try harder!

            Here:

            Bilk-Phänomenal
            LouDog-Surfin' Out
            Brad Sucks - Making Me Nervous

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 6:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            Playing now:

            Phänomenal
            by bilk

            http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/189834

            You see, if your not there, you are out of my radar, Jamendo is the place where I feel safe against people like you and it's one of the places I promote to everyone.

            You think people need you?
            You think you are so important that there is no one else in the world?
            You think I need to put up with you?

            You are not the sun in my life dude.
            You may think you are important/irreplaceable but you be wrong.

             

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            PaulT (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            "I tried it and couldn't find a single artist worth listening to."

            Whatever you're doing, you're doing it wrong. I'll hazard a guess that you were looking for "known" artists or you have a predilection toward soulless corporate pop music. Anyone with an open mind can find decent music on there. Not to say it's all high quality (it's not, admittedly), but nothing? Unlikely, if you're honest.

             

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            Karl (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            I tried it and couldn't find a single artist worth listening to.

            You know, that's exactly why I stopped listening to commercial radio.

             

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            mike allen (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 3:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

            Depends on your taste i found several good bands on there try the right search. even Jamendo is considered to be a pirate by the major lables.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07pm

        Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

        I hate to Godwin this, but here goes.

        You know who else followed laws in the 1930's because laws were passed in a particular European state?

        Laws =! Ethics or Morals.

         

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        cc (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:22pm

        Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

        Respecting a stupid law: Stupid

        Changing a stupid law: Clever

        Draconian enforcement won't win you this fight, and the more you push the people, the more likely it is they'll push back. If you push past the breaking point, you risk receiving a knee-jerk reaction that strips you of all copyright privileges.

         

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        Richard (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:48am

        Re: Re: Who decides what Consitutes good or bad?

        Following the law: Good

        Breaking the law: Bad

        See? That wasn't so hard. So glad I could relieve you of your FUD.


        Following the law but using a technology that others may use to break it:

        Tough - you're part of the collateral damage.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    "Having Google purposely hide such search results has the potential to distort the market in some ways, and actually delay much needed adaptation by the industry. "

    They are not hiding results, it is they are going to make you type out the entire query instead of just the first couple of letters.

    Instead of typing the pir and then hitting enter you will have to type the the pirate bay.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    "LOL
    Yeah, so fleeing to a new domain in Montenegro is going to save them? They're being pushed further underground, out of the mainstream. Which has been the goal the entire time."

    blind, or jsut a failtroll?

    yeah pushign the scene further underground has worked so well up until now. We went from a few limited ap's (napster) who might have been willing to work with the content industries, to thousands of sites with more everyday, who could give a damn less about content industries, government sanctions, or goon squads.

    Back up servers in a dozen countries and mirrors available on demand.

    Hell they couldn't even kill Limewire, and no one even USES that anymore.

     

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      Eugene (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:31pm

      Re:

      What's ridiculous is the sheer blind certainty these guys have about their actions. Like...'oh we can just take their domains, it's easy!' followed by 'oh we can just kick them out of the country, it's easy.' followed by 'oh we can just implement a filtering system it's *sigh* not that easy.' followed by 'oh we can just set up a national firewall it's kind of difficult...' followed by 'oh we can just unplug the internet entirely this is gonna be a pain in the ass' followed by 'oh we can just...outlaw...airwaves? It's...? Is that even physically possible?' followed, ultimately, by "ahhhh fuck us. We give up."

      See if they just skipped to the last one, they'd save a TON of money, time, and heartache.

       

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    Karl (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:08pm

    Unintended consequences

    The problem with this whole thing is the idea that if Google can do it, everyone else should be forced to.

    Mark my words: within a couple years, Congress will write some law requiring that all user-generated content sites implement some form of "ContentID" system.

    The next step after that is requiring that all search sites deliberately block "infringing sites."

    None of this will make a dent in piracy, of course, since none of them have to date. What they will do is make it near-impossible for American tech startups to become financially solvent.

    Right now, America's technology sector is one of the few that is still profitable and growing. We're shooting our entire future economy in the ass just to appease companies who are failing fast, and never contributed to the overall economy anyway (or at the very least never paid a living wage to their employees).

     

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      Eugene (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:37pm

      Re: Unintended consequences

      Psh, don't cry for the startups. A system like you're suggesting would effectively give the US an automated gestapo, allowing them to block any site that doesn't have their "papers" so to speak, which of course they'd have the power to give and take away. Even if it's indirectly. The definition of "infringing" would become "any site the government doesn't agree with".

      Even though Google is humoring the industry here, I seriously doubt they'd go for a proposal like that. They have money, they can be lobbyists too.

       

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        Karl (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:07am

        Re: Re: Unintended consequences

        Psh, don't cry for the startups.

        Well, I bring it up because one of the government's usual justifications is that they're "protecting American jobs." They cite (fictitious) statistics of jobs lost to "piracy," implying that if they don't bring down the jackboots, our economy will suffer.

        I'm just pointing out that the reverse is true. It won't stop Big Media jobs from being lost (that will happen with or without piracy), but it will lose jobs in the tech sector. A sector which is more valuable to our economy than Big Media ever was.

         

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      techflaws.org (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:30pm

      Re: Unintended consequences

      Mark my words: within a couple years, Congress will write some law requiring that all user-generated content sites implement some form of "ContentID" system.

      Already being planned in Germany. To protect children and youngsters websites with "adult" content will be forced to rate their sites to make them inaccsessible to parents installing filter programs. OR have them online only at certain times like 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

      I kid you not.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    First they came for the auto-complete, and I said nothing because... come on, who uses auto-complete?

     

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    TDR, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Anonymous, do something for me. Give me an exact chain of causality to show in specific detail how the sharing of a specific file directly harms a specific artist, using only non-entertainment industry data. Show me, step by step, with detailed, independently verified references, how this happens. If you can't, you're wrong and admit it.

     

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      Eugene (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      That sounds like a lot of work. What if it was just "provide one piece of non-entertainment industry data showing that piracy hurts artists"? Let's go easy on the guy - zero is zero no matter how much you multiply it by ;)

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:34pm

      Re:

      1) Pirates!!!!!!!
      2) TORRENTS!!!!!!
      3) ?????
      4) -Profit!

       

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    sum guy, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    the most disturbing thing about this is the precedent it sets. the message here is if you complain long enough and loudly enough google or amazon or whomever, will change their policies to suit you. the thing i've always admired most about google is their sticking by their guns and rightly saying we don't favor or disfavor websites, its just the page rank algorithm. the fact that google has become so dominant in the search space is all the proof needed that this concept works. this latest move, however, is dangerously close to removing results because some AA group doesn't like what people are searching for. well so what? a lot of people/companies/organizations don't like the results that autocomplete suggests. But what they need to be concerned about is that autocomplete is the result of most common searches, not the cause of people searching.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      " But what they need to be concerned about is that autocomplete is the result of most common searches, not the cause of people searching."

      I wasn't going to point that out because of all the trolls and industry types we have here, hiding under the bridges and just listening. But now that you have ...

      Hiding the word torrent from google type ahead won't make a bit of difference. When you see kids in grade school at the mall talking about how their friend sent the a URL to a torrent to download an album. Then watch as one kid e-mails all the kids around him the link via cell phone. Its already to late.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:22pm

    Probably Google will be sorry for this.

    You give them a hand and they will want an arm.

    This is very much true to an industry with the history of those record companies and their gazillion umbrella companies.

     

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    ofb2632 (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:53pm

    Stop linking to any music or movie studio

    If Google decides to stop linking to ANY music or movie studio, the industry would have a massive outcry. BUT they have copyrighted info on their sites, and most of us don't trust them. Teach them a lesson Google!!!

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:58am

      Re: Stop linking to any music or movie studio

      Google Blog-Press release ...

      In the current climate of confiscation of web domain names. And due to the risks associated with linking to any video or music files we are removing the ability to search for all musical artists associated with the following record labels, Sony, Time Warner, BMG, and EMI. We are also removing the ability to search for all movies listed in the IMDB ....

      It would be a repeat of the UK YouTube fiasco 2 years back.

       

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      Boris_noes_best (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:29pm

      Re: Stop linking to any music or movie studio

      spare me. not every one affected by piracy is a BIG BAD movie studio. grow up

       

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    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 5:54pm

    "One of the favorite talking points is the claim that Google is "profiting from piracy,""

    And labels profit the most from piracy. Hypocrisy is great isn't it.

     

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      Boris_noes_best (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:34pm

      Re:

      Google does profit from Piracy btw. Do your research. It's just NOW they want to profit more from Google TV, etc. so they are trading in ad revenue for other forms of revenue. Face it folks, Google is in the business to make money not to offer us a service. It's not shocking they are making adjustments in their business model to reflect the changing nature of their business interests.

      They don't care about the pirates, consumers, or tech geeks. They want to make money and will do what it take to do so. Guess what, so will the rest of them.

      Yeah, the torrent mongers can move their servers, whatever. There's is a dying universe. Buh-bye.

       

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    jjmsan (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    enforcement

    If massive enforcement will drive the offending materials underground why canwe still buy drugs? The government has been chasing those for my entire life.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:14pm

    hilarious thread, but i guess this stuff goes on all the time here...

    for those posters who think the industrial/entertainment complex can win this arms race:

    1) if you can see it or hear it, you can copy it.
    2) if you can copy it, you can give it to somebody else and nobody - not the **AA's, not COICA, not the Government - can stop you.
    3) if you can duplicate it infinitely at no cost, then it's value - in absolute terms - is zero.

    sorry, folks - that's life in the digital age.

     

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    BruceLD, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Subject

    They should try taking on Facebook for allowing anyone to link to infringing content you Youtube.

    Yes, take on one of the wealthiest and most powerful technology companies in the world. It's not as easy as extorting money from poor people that can not afford to defend themselves against greedy lawyers that base an admission of guilt on something as simple as an IP address. ;)

     

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    BruceLD, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Subject

    *infringing content on Youtube*

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    Anybody wants a steampunk rickrolling?

    http://hackaday.com/2010/12/02/steam-powered-rickrolling/

    Not even vinyl is unreproducible anymore.

    http://www.diyhappy.com/back-up-your-vinyl/

    How I wish I had access to liquid silicon in my youth :)

    Nobody tell the RIAA, or they're going to outlaw plastic.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:21pm

    @Anonymous

    I don't know if you're trying to pull an Andy Kaufman-esque thing or actually über-dumb.

    Either way you're hilarious.

     

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    pringerX (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    Just... wow.

    Mike, you were remarkably prescient in being concerned about the ICE seizure of the torrent search engine. Looks like they are starting to encroach on Google too.

    @Anonymous
    You are pretty short-sighted if you don't realize the ramifications of these TLD seizures. This is like the government saying "We can confiscate your possessions as we please", no warrant or warning required.

     

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    TPBer (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:29am

    Demonoid

    Who cares where they move, it still works just fine :p

     

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    identicon
    AJ, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:07am

    A bright side?

    Let me see if I understand this. The AA’s lobby the politicians to go after the file sharers. The file sharers then decentralize, or collect in private networks. They begin to encrypt their traffic and route around or through the blocks. The average user now knows more about how traffic works, and understands basic encryption making them safer overall.

    Sounds like a win-win to me. The politicians get their money, and the internet/average user is safer. I wonder what the N.S.A/C.I.A/F.B.I. and such think about teaching the average user how to use encryption. Bet their not happy….

     

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    Cowardly Anon, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 7:01am

    This sounds like a trap to me. Honestly.

    Google has been saying for years 'we can't tell if something is infringing,' but now they are going to tweak their algorithms so that AdSense doesn't show up on sites that provide infringing content?

    So they can tell if something is infringing huh?

    Sounds like a slippery slope to me. I'm pretty sure this decision is going to come back to bite them in a very bad way in the future.

     

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    bdhoro (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:05am

    What about google torrent search?

    Just type it into Google! type google torrent search and click "I'm feelin lucky" you'll be taken to this site:

    http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=003849996876419856805:erhhdbygrma

    Which is a google dedicated torrent search page. Yeah it doesn't support auto-complete though so they have nothing to do with torrents.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Too nice

    Mike, you're too nice always responding politely to that anonymous retarded-asshat RIAA lap-dog.

    We already know the score. If he wants a platform let him start his own fucking blog where other deluded computer-illiterate copyright-fascists like him can all dance holding hands.

    Just saying.

     

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      identicon
      anothermike, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Too nice

      Commenters like Anonymous should be politely corrected, not sequestered or insulted. Treating them poorly only reinforces their belief that they have some information that "the establishment" doesn't want released.
      As in dealing with conspiracy hypothesists and other reality deniers, they need their false information corrected with well-referenced proof and assistance with debate techniques (prima facie, strawmen, etc.)
      The end goal of this, like any education, is to gain a new member in the community who can join us in intelligent debates on the issues affecting us.

       

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    Stuart Dredge, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Some extra info

    As I understand it, Google is most definitely NOT hiding search results - just not suggesting terms like torrent in its autocomplete. So if you search for Lady Gaga Torrent, you'll still get all the same links. It's just that casual searchers who type 'lady gaga' won't be auto prompted to add 'torrent'.

    It sounds small but Google were very firm about this point yesterday - they're not removing sites from their search results. To the point that the BPI have criticised Google today for not doing that.

    The other thing is that Google say they are going to make it easier for web users (eg Blogger users) to file counter notices against takedowns. How this fits with making takedown requests easier for rights holders remains to seen, but again, Google was very keen to stress this point - I'm assuming this is a response to the recent blog takedown controversies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    They appear to be blocking more than autocomplete. After a couple of searches that could be interpreted as searching for copyrighted material, Google displays a message to the effect that they are blocking the search for an unspecified period of time because "your IP has been searching for stuff that violates our terms of service." That says to me that they are storing your searches and your IP address and can use them against you as they please. Frankly, it seems not too different from the censorship they have been doing at the behest of the Chinese government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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