Google ramps up copyright protection in search results

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS News) Google is changing its search algorithm again. This time the search giant is trying to weed out sites that may infringe on copyrights.

Full coverage of Google at Tech Talk

Instead of removing sites that may be violating copyright laws, Google has a workaround that technically doesn't censor the Web yet may appease copyright holders.

The company said in a blog post Friday:

"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."

Copyright infringement has been a contentious topic for copyright holders and net-neutrality advocates.

In January, Google joined sites like Wikipedia and Reddit in an online protest to the sister bills Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The search giant felt the bills went too far and would stifle innovation. Supporters of the bills sought powerful protection for copyright holders.

The move to change its algorithm shows a willingness to work with organizations like the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. However, it will not remove websites from its index unless the company receives a valid copyright removal notice.

Google says it has received copyright removal notices for more than 4.3 million in the last 30 days. Sites that believe they've been incorrectly targeted may apply to have the removal reversed.

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