Google says it has demoted 65k pirate sites in search results


The music industry hasn’t been alone in wanting Google to do more about links to piracy sites appearing in its search results. But labels and representative bodies did play a significant role in Google’s moves towards ‘demoting’ sites consistently slapped with valid takedown notices for unlicensed content.

Now the company has been talking about some of the figures around this policy, for a piece on Australian news site The Age about film piracy. A spokesperson said that Google has now demoted 65,000 sites globally. “Demotion results in sites losing around 90 per cent of their visitors from Google Search,” said the spokesperson.

The wider context for the piece are concerns in Australia that the film industry is finally being hit hard by the effects of online piracy: a report by Deloitte commissioned by industry body Screen Producers Australia claimed that 22% of film-production companies recorded a loss last year while around half made a ‘small’ profit.

However, the 17% describing piracy as a challenge were less than those fretting about “broadcaster bargaining power, high labour costs, government tax policies, international competition and competition from subscription platforms” according to The Age.

Stuart Dredge

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