Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Google report touts progress in fight against piracy

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Google yesterday said it is making strides in helping Internet users legitimately get songs, films and apps, while choking off revenue to Web sites with stolen digital content.

A 64-page report released by Google claimed progress in the war on piracy, but also noted a new battlefront in the form of “add-on” software that can be installed on legitimate open-source media players such as the Kodi box to illicitly stream copyrighted content.

“Combating illegal streaming on open-source media players like the Kodi box shows both the challenge and the importance of a balanced approach in the fight against piracy,” Google said in the report. “Pirates have created add-ons to enable Kodi boxes to access infringing works.”

Set-top boxes with suspicious add-ons are removed from Google Shopping, while apps with preinstalled “Kodi add-ons” giving access to pirate sites are removed from the Play Store, the firm said.

The report cited a global study released by the Institute for Information Law this year that found the percentage of Internet users who engage in piracy has been falling, while spending on legal content is rising.

“Successfully decreasing incidents of copyright infringement has required providing more and better legitimate alternatives to infringing content, as well as more effective tools for combating piracy,” Google said.

Google boasted that it has been generating more money for those who create or own digital content while strengthening its arsenal and efforts to fight piracy.

A YouTube “Content ID” tool creates digital fingerprints of sorts of copyrighted content and then automatically detects it online, allowing owners to have it removed or monetized.

Web sites involved in piracy are “demoted” in search results and cut off from Google’s online ad platform, the report said.

“One of the most effective ways to combat rogue sites that specialize in online piracy is to cut off their money supply,” Google said.

Since 2012, Google has terminated more than 13,000 AdSense accounts and ejected more than 100,000 Web sites from its AdSense program for contraventions of policy on copyrighted material, the report said.

Meanwhile, a “Google Play” online shop for digital content bans apps that “infringe copyright, encourage illegal streaming or attempt to deceive users by impersonating other apps.”

Google also told of taking aim at copyright-infringing ads with “considerable” resources.

The California-based technology giant said that last year it rejected more than 10 million ads suspected of infringing copyrights or linking to Web sites that did.

Google-owned YouTube paid more than US$1.8 billion to the music industry from October last year to September.

Digital video revenues are expected to soar from US$64 billion last year to US$119 billion by 2022, while global music streaming revenues more than doubled from 2015 to last year, the report said.

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