Google said its efforts to fight online piracy have yielded USD 2 billion paid out to copyright holders whose content is shown on its YouTube platform.
The US online giant, updating its anti-piracy efforts, said its system has been generating income for copyright holders when content is posted to YouTube.
At the same time, Google is also offering “more convenient, legitimate alternatives” that allow consumers to buy music, films and other content, according to a statement.
“We take protecting creativity online seriously, and we’re doing more to help battle copyright-infringing activity than ever before,” said a blog post from senior policy counsel Katie Oyama.
Google and YouTube have been using a system called Content ID, where a copyright holder can notify the company if its music or other content is being shown on YouTube.
The copyright owners have an option to remove the content or leave it up and reap advertising revenue from it, and 95 perc ent of music owners choose the latter option, according to Google.
“Half of the music industry’s YouTube revenue comes from fan content claimed via Content ID,” Oyama said.
The umbrella group of the music industry, which has been trying to steer fans to sites that generate more revenue than YouTube, took issue with Google’s report.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said that Content ID failed to identify 20 to 40 per cent of recordings.
“Google has the capability and resources to do much more to tackle the vast amount of music that is being made available and accessed without permission on its platforms,” the group’s chief executive officer, Frances Moore, said in a statement.
She also faulted Google’s signature search engine for directing music consumers “on a large scale” to unlicensed sites.
But Oyama said that Google’s engineers have taken action and that a “vast majority” of queries went to legitimate sites.
Google is also cutting out sites specializing in piracy from its advertising network. “Rogue sites that specialize in online piracy are commercial ventures, which means that one effective way to combat them is to cut off their money supply,” Oyama said.
“As a global leader in online advertising, Google is committed to rooting out and ejecting rogue sites from our advertising services. Since 2012, Google has blacklisted more than 91,000 sites.”
She added that Google has paid out some USD 10 billion to creators for content purchased on Google Play and YouTube.