Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, on the Announcement by Google Concerning Websites Dedicated to Online Piracy

[Google announced today that it will update the tools it uses to address the problem of illegitimate websites dedicated to infringing activity, by demoting such sites in its search results and removing more terms from autocomplete.  Senator Leahy has long called for such action to reduce the prevalence of websites dedicated to infringement, which remain a serious problem for America’s artists, creators and consumers.]

“I welcome Google’s announcement that it will improve its efforts to address the problem of rogue websites that are dedicated to profiting from stolen works.  The Internet has made possible large-scale distribution of music, films, books, and products in a way that was previously unimaginable—yet certain websites, usually based overseas, continue to cheat the system by illegally trading in pirated and counterfeit goods.  These websites, which have long been too easy to find, steal from creators, mislead consumers, and undermine the many lawful, innovative services that are flourishing online.  All businesses in the Internet ecosystem have an important role to play in minimizing illegal activity.  I have met with Google on several occasions to encourage them to be more responsive to the role search engines play in directing consumers to these rogue websites.  I commend Google for recognizing that responsibility and announcing that it will take these promising steps.  I will be tracking the results once they are implemented.”

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