Google’s latest moves to fight pirate sites “will visibly affect rankings of most notorious sites”

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Google has updated its How Google Fights Piracy report with details of its latest moves to remove pirate sites from its search results. A key element is improved automated demotion of sites that have received high numbers of DMCA takedown notices.

In August 2012 we first announced that we would downrank sites for which we received a large number of valid DMCA notices. We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites. This update will roll out globally starting [this week].

The “most notorious sites” are likely to include rapidgator.net, filestube.com and dilandau.eu, each of which has, notes Gizmodo, received at least 11 million individual takedown requests …  Read more

European Union tells Google combining user data across services without opt-out is illegal

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Google has come under fire from European Union officials on a number of fronts already. It’s been accused of unfair search results, been criticized for the way it has implemented the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and asked to stop describing apps which offer in-app purchases as ‘free.’

Reuters now reports that the EU believes Google is breaking the law in combining user data across unrelated services like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps without offering users an opt-out, and the way in which it has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one …  Read more

YouTube once again looking to help fund original content

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YouTube announced this evening in a blog post that, once again, it plans to start funding original content. Two years ago, YouTube announced plans to spend more than $100 million to get content creators to create YouTube channels on which to share videos. With that plan, they focused on bringing in outside entertainers. With this new push, however, YouTube says it will focus on helping the self-funded and self-published stars on the site grow.

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Google shows off winning image-recognition system, likely to assist in autonomous car efforts

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Google has shown off its winning entry in an annual computer vision challenge whose entrants include both academic institutions and industry labs, and made its work available to other researchers.

In this year’s challenge, team GoogLeNet tasks, doubling the quality on both tasks over last year’s results. The team participated with an open submission, meaning that the exact details of its approach are shared with the wider computer vision community to foster collaboration and accelerate progress in the field …

Google cites its self-driving cars as one of the obvious applications of the technology. Read more

A week after Apple launches iPhone 6, ZTE has a NYC launch event

Probably ill-advised timing but why not?

Report: YouTube Music Key is Google’s upcoming subscription service w/ concerts, remixes, free Play Music Key

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We’ve been hearing rumors of a YouTube streaming music service for quite a while, but now Android Police has published a report detailing Google’s streaming music plans. The report claims that Google will soon launch a new service called YouTube Music Key, as well as rebrand Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key.

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Google acquires mobile video startup Directr, adds talent to the YouTube ads team

YouTube has acquired a startup called Directr according to a post on the company’s website, as noted by the Wall Street Journal. Directr is a startup that makes two iOS apps for video creation—one focused on everyday users, and the other designed with small business marketing videos in mind.

The company says that for now, “everything you love about Directr is staying the same.” Directr’s current employees, however, will be joining the YouTube video ads team. Neither party has said how much the buyout cost yet, but Directr has confirmed that despite the change of ownership, it will continue to offer its current apps, which will now be available for free.

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YouTube’s Director of Product Management departs for Spotify ahead of its own streaming music service debut

284fe42Google may not be buying Spotify, but a top executive from YouTube is jumping ship from the Google-owned company to the subscription music service giant. Re/code reports that Shiva Rajaraman, whose title was Director of Product Management at Google (YouTube) according to his LinkedIn, is leaving Google/YouTube several years with the company to take a new role at Spotify. The report notes that Rajaraman’s role at YouTube encompassed managing the development of YouTube’s yet-to-be launched music streaming service, and his new position at Spotify employs him at what will likely be a major competitor to YouTube’s delayed service.

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YouTuber sued for copyright infringement, plaintiff wants $150,000 per incident

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YouTubers believed to be in violation of copyright laws typically get a takedown notice advising them to remove whatever content their video is using without permission. But in the case of YouTube star Michelle Phan who has over 6 million subscribers following her online make-up tutorial channel, things have taken an aggressive turn. Ultra Records has filed a lawsuit against Phan claiming that she used 50 of their songs in her YouTube videos without proper permission.

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