Google has reorganised its search results so that websites that have been flagged for aiding access to pirated content now appear lower on search lists. This means that many file-sharing sites would see their placement on these lists dropped.
Although file sharing companies such as The Pirate Bay and Isohunt do not feel affected by the move, they are disappointed about the way Google has, in their eyes, given in to the demand of the media industry who had been complaining about the illegal sharing of copyrighted material.
Isohunt’s owner suggested that YouTube, which is owned by Google, would be given preferential treatment because it was excluded from the firm’s Transparency Report — a list of sites that had provoked copyright removal requests.
Google dismisses these claims, arguing that all of their websites are subject to the new rulings and added that material on YouTube that infringes copyright will be removed “in accordance to law.”
Although Google is taking a rightful stance in safeguarding internet users’ content, the move is not immune to flaws. Lowering the search engine rankings of websites that receive a high number of DMCA takedown requests, independent of whether the content is lawful or not, leaves websites vulnerable to the risk of spam, which brings the validity of the search giant’s change into question.