Music industry: Google not doing enough to hide pirate sites

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“Searches for popular music continue to yield results that emphasize illegal sites at the expense of legitimate services, which are often relegated to later pages. And Google’s auto-complete function continues to lead users to many of those same illicit sites," Steven M. Marks, RIAA's general counsel, said in a statement. 

The RIAA's report claims that in the six month period, Google received tens of millions of copyright removal requests for various sites. 

The industry group analyzed some of the worst infringers and found that they had not been demoted in any significant way, usually still appearing on the first page of search results.

When the RIAA searched for terms like "MP3" and "download" along with the names of popular songs, Google's auto-complete function suggested the names of alleged pirate sites 88 percent of the time, according to the RIAA.

The group noted that the high ranking for illegitimate sites meant that legal sites, like iTunes and Amazon, were often demoted, sometimes out of the top ten results.

“We want fans to easily and quickly find the services that are safe, secure and reward the artists that create the music we all love," Marks said. "Research shows that users trust search engines like Google to lead them to legitimate sites when searching for music, yet Google’s demotion program is not working."

In reponse to the report, a Google spokesperson said the company is continuing to invest resources into cracking down on online piracy and has been working with the entertainment industry to offer more content online. 

"We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for Google Search, quickly removing more than 97 percent from search results," the spokesperson said. "In addition, Google’s growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year."

This story was updated at 1:06 p.m.