The RIAA is not pleased with results of Google’s efforts to downgrade pirate websites in search results. According to a story by Stuart Dredge published today on Musically.com, the RIAA says Google’s not doing all it can to demote infringing sites:
The RIAA says it’s been monitoring the results, and it’s not happy. “Six months later, we have found no evidence that Google’s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy. These sites consistently appear at the top of Google’s search results for popular songs or artists,” it says in a statement.
Specifically, the RIAA claims that the “serial infringers” sites that it analysed “still managed to appear on page 1 of the search results over 98% of the time in the searches conducted – in fact, these sites consistently showed up in 3 to 5 of the top 10 search results.”
I’ve found the same scenario with searches I’ve done. Earlier this month (2-11-13) did a search for an indie film “A Perfect Ending” that was released on DVD in early February. I searched the “past 24 hours” and used the search term: ”a perfect ending” download. The results were not surprising. At the top of the list, after a paid Netflix placement, was a link to a Pirate Bay torrent.
Today I did a search for the Academy Award nominated “Silver Linings Playbook.” This time a I used a more general search term: silver linings playbook download and didn’t limit it by date. In this instance the first non-commercial result was the site www.movie2k.to. When I checked the link, I found more than 30 links to illegal downloads/streams. The first link was an active/embedded stream of the movie.* I checked the second link on the list and found it to be an active download.
When I checked Google’s Transparency Report for reported takedown request Google received over the past month for links to www.movie2k.to I found 37,764 URLS had been reported.
Now the top domain reported was Filestube.com with more than 400,000 takedown requests, but 37,764 is not an insignificant amount. BTW, this site itself is impervious to takedown requests. If you are a rights holder who wants the infringing links removed, you have to click each link and click often through a myriad of pop-up ads to report the file. Even then, some of the sites don’t respond. Lip-service to the contrary, Google remains a top dog in facilitating piracy. From Musically.com:
“There is a staggering amount of copyright infringement taking place every day online and much of it is facilitated by Google, as their own data shows,” wrote the MPAA’s SVP Content Protection, Internet, Marc Miller.
Earlier this week I wrote about Google’s disingenuous move to pressure payment providers to cease doing business with pirate websites. Once again I have to ask, why doesn’t Google clean its own house before shifting the focus to others? Seems like they still have plenty of their own work to do.
*In my experience the streams offered via this site (stream2k) are impervious to DMCA takedown requests.