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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) announced today it will implement several new anti-piracy measures, including a promise to work with content owners to kick websites that don’t respect copyright out of its AdSense program.
The company will be instituting a notice-and-takedown procedure for sites that use AdSense that’s similar to the regime currently in place for copyrighted material overall. Just as copyright owners can send a quick e-mail to Google to have infringing content deleted from Blogger, for example, they’ll be able to send a similar notice about a non-Google site that’s infringing copyright and making money off AdSense. Google will then start a process and will, “when appropriate, expel violatators from the AdSense program.”
Google has also said it will make “authorized preview content more readily accessible.” Presumably, that means more services along the lines of what Google has done with music searches, making song previews from iLike available at the top of search results for bands and song names.
Finally, Google’s auto-complete won’t work on terms “closely associated with piracy.” Google doesn’t specify what those terms might be but it does note that it’s hard to isolate such terms. (A searcher who types in “Friday Night Lights Season 5 Episode 5,” for example, might be looking for an illegal download, but may well be hunting for one of the many sites with blow-by-blow discussions of TV shows.) The company also promises it will deal with DMCA takedown requests faster-within 24 hours for requests from copyright owners “who use the tools responsibly.”
The 24-hour rule doesn’t apply to YouTube, where infringing material already goes down “within a few hours,” according to an interview with U.K. Google communications manager Simon Morrison.
Early reactions from music industry executives have been predictably positive. And Morrison seemed to acknowledge that the changes do come partly in response to pressure from rightsholders. “We talk to rightsholders all the time about these sorts of issues, and that has been raised,” he said. Still, Google is tackling these challenges from a position of strength-the most threatening attack on Google’s anti-piracy measures, a copyright lawsuit brought by Viacom (NYSE: VIA) against YouTube, resulted in a resounding defense victory in June, although it is being appealed.