Protecting what we love about the internet: our efforts to stop online piracy

3 months 1 week ago

The internet has enabled people worldwide to connect, create and distribute new works of art like never before. A key part of preserving this creative economy is ensuring creators and artists have a way to share and make money from their content—and preventing the flow of money to those who seek to pirate that content. Today, we're releasing our latest update on those efforts..

Our 2018 "How Google Fights Piracy" report explains the programs, policies, and technology we put in place to combat piracy online and ensure continued opportunities for creators around the world.

We invest significantly in the technology, tools and resources that prevent copyright infringement on our platforms. We also work with others across the industry on efforts to combat piracy. These efforts appear to be having an effect: around the world, online piracy has been decreasing, while spending on legitimate content is rising across content categories.

Here are a few of our findings from this year's Piracy report:

  • $3 billion+:The amount YouTube has paid to rights holders who have monetized use of their content in other videos through Content ID, our industry-leading rights management tool.
  • $100 million+: The amount we’ve invested in building Content ID, including staffing and computing resources.
  • $1.8 billion+:The amount YouTube paid to the music industry from October 2017 to September 2018 in advertising revenue alone
  • 3 billion+:The number of URLs that were removed from Search for infringing copyright since launching a submission tool for copyright owners and their agents.
  • 10 million+:The number of ads that were disapproved by Google in 2017 that were suspected of copyright infringement or that linked to infringing sites.

As we continue our work in the years ahead, five principles guide our substantial investments in fighting piracy:

Create more and better legitimate alternatives: Piracy often arises when it's difficult for consumers to access legitimate content. By developing products that make it easy for users to access legitimate content, like Google Play Music and YouTube, Google helps drive revenue for creative industries and give consumers choice.

Follow the money: As the vast majority of sites dedicated to online piracy are doing so to make money, one way to combat them is to cut off their supply. We prevent actors that engage in copyright infringement from using our ads and monetization systems and we enforce these policies rigorously.

Be efficient, effective, and scalable: We strive to implement anti-piracy solutions that work at scale. For example, as early as 2010, we began making substantial investments in streamlining the copyright removal process for search results. As a result, these improved procedures allow us to process copyright removal requests for search results at the rate of millions per week.

Guard against abuse: Some actors will make false copyright infringement claims in order to have content they don't want online taken down. We’re committed to detecting and rejecting bogus infringement allegations, such as removals for political or competitive reasons.

Provide transparency: We’re committed to providing transparency. In our Transparency Report, we disclose the number of requests we receive from copyright owners and governments to remove information from our services.

Today, our services are generating more revenue for creators and rights holders, connecting more people with the content they love, and doing more to fight back against online piracy than ever before. We’re proud of the progress this report represents. Through continued innovation and partnership, we’re committed to curtailing infringement by bad actors while empowering the creative communities who make many of the things we love about the internet today.

Election Day with Search

3 months 1 week ago

Today is Election Day—less commonly known as the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November—and people all across the country are heading to the polls to cast their votes. With many candidates, measures, and propositions on your ballot, Google tools are here to help you navigate the process, understand your choices, and view the results of races across the country.


Navigating the process

Whether you're registering to vote for the first time, voting absentee, or seeking directions to your local polling place, we can help you find the information you need to make your voice heard in this election. When you search for “how do I register to vote” or “how do I vote,” a box will appear on the results page with authoritative and easy-to-understand information about the deadlines, requirements, eligibility, and logistics of casting a ballot where you live. And if you aren't sure where to vote, a query for “where do I vote” will guide you to the right place.

Understanding the choices

To help you make knowledgeable decisions about your ballot, we’re making information about candidates and ballot measures readily available. If you search for any federal or gubernatorial candidate, a panel of information will appear on the results page. This will include candidate-authored statements about platforms and legislative priorities for all campaigns that have chosen to post them. Likewise, a query for any statewide ballot measure will render a panel of information and the full text for that initiative.

Viewing the outcomes

Once the polls have closed and the votes are being counted, you can come to Search to find minute-to-minute updates as the results begin to come in. A search for “Senate results” or “House results” on Election Day will give you a box with a real-time summary of each chamber, while searching for any congressional or gubernatorial contest will give you results for those specific races.

At Google, our mission is to make the world's information accessible and useful, and we hope these features help you participate in this election. So if you haven't already, go get your "I voted" sticker, and come back to Google when the results come in.


You Should Change the Reason People Pay You

3 months 1 week ago

Quick — what’s the reason people pay you?  Don’t ponder.  Just freeze the first thing that comes into your mind. It’s probably something like this, especially if you’re a salaried programmer. I have a valuable skill that’s in high demand: programming. On a surface level, I can’t really argue with that.  Recruiters pester you constantly, […]

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Erik Dietrich

Halloween 2018: Crab claws!

3 months 1 week ago
Do you need something to cheer you up? You got it: I should explain this costume a little bit. At the US Digital Service, we do a thing called “crab claws.” Crab claws is like visual applause–you pinch your fingers up and down to say “great job” or “congratulations” or “way to go.” We do […]
Matt Cutts

DaedTech Digest: Up and Leaving

3 months 1 week ago

For the last few weeks, I’ve paused with my normal Q&A about slow travel, in favor of writing about actual adventures.  I’ll do that one last time here today.  I’m sitting in Michigan right now, fresh off of a month in Vermont.  But we only just got in this evening, having left Wednesday morning. And […]

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Erik Dietrich

Are There Actually Companies out There That Write Good Code?

3 months 2 weeks ago

Let’s do a reader question post today.  It’s been a while, huh?  I’m now answering different questions in different forums, so it can be hard to keep track of.  But this one fits squarely in the realm of the DaedTech blog.  So let’s do it. This particular reader question is quite detailed, so I’m just […]

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Erik Dietrich

Green hair, don’t care: create emoji that look exactly like you on Gboard

3 months 2 weeks ago

There might be thousands of emoji, but for a lot of people, it’s hard to find one that looks and feels like *you*. Today, we’re introducing emoji style Mini stickers for Gboard, designed for those who may have stared into the eyes of emoji and not seen yourself staring back. These sticker versions of the emoji you use every day are customizable so you can make them look just like you. Have a beard and long gray curly hair? No problem. Nose piercing and baseball cap? We gotcha.

Three Mini flavors: Bold, Sweet, and Emoji

Minis use a combination of machine learning and artistry to create illustrated stickers based on your selfie. Mini stickers also come in two other styles: “bold,” for when you might be feeling a little extra, and “sweet,” for when you want a softer touch.

After you take a selfie, emoji Minis use Google’s machine learning algorithms, known as neural networks, to suggest a skin tone, hair style and accessories that you can fine tune. Then, you choose a color for your hair, facial hair or different types of head coverings and eyewear. Add freckles or wrinkles—a little or a lot—if you'd like. Design your Minis so they resemble what you look like in your eyes—or in your mind. 🤗

Customizable emoji Minis

With Mini emojis, redheads (and other hair types) won’t just get a single redheaded emoji, but instead a selection of redheaded options, including redheaded zombies 🧟, redheaded mages 🧙 and redheaded shruggies 🤷.


Start stickerising with your new, more YOU emojis! Emoji Minis start rolling out today in all Gboard languages and countries, on both iOS and Android.

Celebrate Halloween with Ghoul-gle

3 months 2 weeks ago

You know what they say: if you’ve got it, haunt it. Halloween is almost here and we want to make sure you’ve got what you need to celebrate with some help from Maps, Search and the Assistant.

Spookiest Spots

If you’re in the mood for a ghostly encounter, we’ve got you covered. Using historical Google Maps data, we’ve ranked 20 U.S. cities by their spook factor so you know exactly where to get your fill of restless spirits, haunted places, and inexplicable occurrences. Tap each link to see a list of some of the spookiest locations in your city, and check out the Street View imagery below to see what makes some of these places so spooktacular—if you dare 😱.

  1. New York

  2. Los Angeles

  3. Chicago

  4. Dallas

  5. Houston

  6. Washington D.C.

  7. San Francisco

  8. Atlanta

  9. Philadelphia

  10. Boston

  11. Seattle

  12. Phoenix

  13. Denver

  14. Orlando

  15. Minneapolis/St. Paul

  16. Detroit

  17. Portland

  18. Charlotte

  19. Sacramento

  20. Cleveland


Last-minute tips to get festive with your Google Assistant

Forget to pick up candy for trick-or-treaters? Still haven’t had a chance to get pumpkins to carve? Out of creative ideas on what to wear?


Whether you’re seeking last-minute costume inspiration, creepy sounds for your spooky soiree or monster facts to stump your friends and family, your Google Assistant is here to help just in the nick of time!  


Start by saying “Hey Google …”

  • “What should I be for Halloween?” (Take a guided quiz and let the Assistant help you pick out the perfect, unexpected costume.)

  • “Get directions to the nearest pumpkin patch.”

  • “Add Halloween candy to my shopping list.”

  • “Trick or treat.” (Enjoy a spooky experience with sound effects and guest appearances from famous monsters.)

  • “Share facts about monsters.” (Spoiler alert: did you know that people accused of witchcraft also found themselves accused of being werewolves?)

  • “What does a werewolf sound like?”

  • “What does a ghost sound like?”

  • “Share facts about monsters?”


Pretty up some pumpkins

You might be carving out some time over the next day to create a gourd-eous masterpiece for your mantle or front porch. Here are some of the top pumpkin carving searches on Google Images to give you some ideas and how-to’s for a contemporary take on this classic Halloween decor:

A massive Doodle duel

Get your game on with our first-ever multiplayer, interactive Google Doodle. Host a session of “The Great Ghoul Duel” with up to seven friends and family via a custom invitation link or put your ghostly gaming powers to the test by competing with randomized players around the globe. Your goal is to collect as many spirit flames for your team as possible and bring them to home base before time expires. But BEWARE!, opposing teams can swipe your flames—and as a team collects more flames, their powers get stronger, including speed boosts, night vision and much more. Best of luck against your frightening foes!