Google Gets Tough on Copyright Cads

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Google is cracking down on parasites that use its services to steal the intellectual property of others.

In an item posted today at Google's new Public Policy Blog, General Counsel Kent Walker outlined four changes the service will be rolling out in the coming months to better protect rightsholders. Here's the rundown:

·     Google will act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours. To do this, Google will build tools to make the takedown process easier. In addition, Google is improving the tools used to challenge takedown requests and allow public searching of those requests.

·     Google will block any terms associated with piracy from its autocomplete feature, making it harder for scoffrights to find pirated content.

·     Google will banish rights violators from its AdSense program. Google already has a prohibition on posting AdSense advertising on web pages linked to pirated materials, but now it's going even further by working with rightsholders to toss pirates out of the program entirely.

·     Google will make it easier for websters to find and access legitimate content.

It's interesting to note that while Google is energetically committed to taking things down within 24 hours of receiving a request a to do so, it isn't making any similar commitments to putting things back up. That's been a problem in the past, especially among educators--as one video teacher pointed out in the comment section to Walker's blog item.

He noted that he and his students "spend a significant amount of time submitting counter-notice requests when they upload videos that include copy-written material but is used with Fair Use Guidelines and the 2010 Library of Congress exemptions for media studies courses."

"The removal happens despite the fact that all students put in their descriptions that the work is used with Fair Use Guidelines," he added.

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