Google Fails to Adhere to “Take Down, Stay Down”

June 8, 2016

Google is facing government scrutiny over failure to adhere to their own “Take Down, Stay Down policy”. Google’s policy states if a link is reported it should be taken down and prevent any links to the same content to take its place, when notified by copy right holders. The British Phonographic Industry is insisting that Google is not doing enough to enforce its own policy. BPI, a record business trade group claims to have reported over 200 million links infringing content on Google since July of 2011, and goes so far to state that the links that were taken down, were quickly replaced with other links to the same content, which is in direct violation of Google’s policy. BPI chief Geoff Taylor said: “The notice and take-down system, as currently structured, cannot represent an effective response to piracy and requires urgent reform. Internet intermediaries like search engines clearly need to take more active responsibility to stop directing business to the black market.”

BPI is calling for Google to adopt a new policy, or for the British government to impose a new policy on them. The organization is asking that Google take preliminary steps to lower the threshold at which sites are “de-ranked”, which would mean sites that are legal digital music distributors would receive a boost in search engine ranking, bringing them clos­er to the top during a Google search and sites that have been ruled as illegal by the UK’s high courts would be automatically de-listed.

Google has responded to the demands of BPI with it’s own statement “We’ve reviewed more than 80 million alleged links to pirated content in the last month alone, and we have refined our algorithm to demote sites that receive high numbers of copyright take down requests,”. Google has responded to similar allegations in the past, specifically in November of 2015. Google’s copy right counsel Cédric Manara said that a take-down, stay down policy “can have an overreaching effect and go too far. Ad­ditionally, stay down is forever, whereas copyright has a term”. In another instance Google contended with the US Intellectual property office, stating that de-listing sites is “ineffective and can easily result in censorship of lawful material”. Since the initial demands by BPI, Google has made some changes howev­er, none as stringent as the ones BPI is calling for.

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