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Thread: Google To Start Filtering Search Keywords, For Autocomplete

  1. #1
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    Default Google To Start Filtering Search Keywords, For Autocomplete

    Google is helping the entertainment industry fight online piracy by preventing users from seeing "piracy related" keywords in their autocomplete list.

    This change is part of a series of measures designed to appease the entertainment industry, measures which include more promotion of legal YouTube content, a more streamlined DMCA takedown process that will also extend DMCA complaints to other Google products such as Blogger, and a crackdown on infringing websites on their AdSense advertising network.

    The autocomplete changes will add key terms such as "torrent" to Google's existing "naughty words" list, which already removed controversial terms (such as sex related terms, as well as possible defaming terms) from the autocomplete function. The autocomplete function is now more important than ever due to Google's new Instant search feature, which produces and refreshes search results as you type, the results shown as you're typing are based on popular autocomplete matches.

    Users can still search for torrents on Google, and autocomplete may still show search phrases with "torrent" and other piracy related terms if the users types enough characters (for example, typing "megamind torr" may bring up "megamind torrent" as a possible autocomplete choice).

    More:

    http://mashable.com/2010/12/02/googl...-autocomplete/

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    In related news, Google has just purchased anti-piracy outfit Widevine. Widevine specialises in DRM relating to downloads and video streams, and preventing these from being copied. This may also be related to the news that Viacom has started their appeals process against the verdict in June which saw Google/YouTube found not guilty of copyright infringement.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/tech...-widevine.html

    All of these recent development has Cnet asking whether Google has jumped sides in the copyright wars?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20024510-261.html

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    MPAA statement on the matter:

    Quote Originally Posted by MPAA
    We are encouraged by Google's recognition of the responsibility of all participants in the online world to help combat online content theft. These are important first steps toward helping protect the rights of content owners and the more than 2.4 million American jobs that depend on a healthy motion picture and television industry. We look forward to Google's implementation of its announced reforms. We also look forward to working with Google to address other important issues, including Google's listings and rankings of notorious pirate sites as places to go to get movies that are still only in the cinema and other illegal content. Just yesterday, Google announced that it was changing its algorithm so that unscrupulous merchants will not appear high up on search lists. Similar methods can and should be used to address online content theft as well
    Clearly, the MPAA wants Google to apply artificial filters to de-list or de-rank piracy related websites, which will set a very dangerous precedent indeed (for example, if the MPAA wrongly claims a website is offering pirated content, where is the avenue of appeal for that website, and what if the MPAA broadens their target by including websites that are on the other side of the copyright debate, such as the EFF or TorrentFreak or even this website!)

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    Google has started filtering results, but their choice of keywords to filter seems quite strange. The filtered words include: RapidShare, BitTorrent, torrent, uTorrent, Megaupload.

    It seems strange to filter "uTorrent", which is simply a BitTorrent client, and more strange when other BitTorrent clients like BitComet and Vuze are still part of Google's auto-complete algorithm. In any case, these clients are all legal software. It's like banning Google Chrome just because you can use it to download illegal content (which you can).

    Similarly, while RapidShare and Megaupload are banned, other file hosts like MediaFire are still allowed.

    This lack of consistency will surely annoy users, as Google takes a big step backwards in terms of supporting the open web.

    More:

    http://torrentfreak.com/google-start...d-more-110126/

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