Google is adding a new feature to its search algorithm that will make it harder to find pirated material, effectively making it extremely difficult for you to keep up with Game of Thrones next season.
Google announced the change in a company blog post on Friday morning. This is how they explained they explained the new search:
Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.
Google says it's processing more copyright claims now than they ever have, so they're able to more effectively determine which sites are repeat offenders and deserve to be punished. Google elaborated on how the new change will work to Talking Points Memo, saying "we will only be counting valid copyright removal notices, submitted under penalty of perjury by copyright owners, that meet our takedown criteria."
The move is being done to quiet down big media companies who've long thought Google hasn't done enough to combat piracy. It's better than SOPA or PIPA, the piracy bills the change is being called a response to. The head of the Recording Industry Association of America, Cary Sherman, is happy with the move, and so is the Motion Picture Association of America:
“We are optimistic that Google’s actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online, and away from the rogue cyberlockers, peer-to-peer sites, and other outlaw enterprises that steal the hard work of creators across the globe. We will be watching this development closely – the devil is always in the details – and look forward to Google taking further steps to ensure that its services favor legitimate businesses and creators, not thieves.”
Guess this means you'll have to scrounge up the money for HBO Go.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.