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Google Pledges Quicker Action on Pirated Music, Content on Web

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Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular search engine, said it will more quickly to respond to copyright holders who claim music, movies and other content is illegally posted on the Web.

“We’ll reduce our response time to 24 hours or less” on reliable requests, General Counsel Kent Walker said today in a blog posting. His posting didn’t say what the response time is now.

Google will prevent its search engine from displaying links to material that copyright holders identify as being improperly used, and will delete the content from pages created using its blogger software, Walker wrote in the post.

A Google feature that automatically suggests results as users type words into its search bar won’t offer terms closely associated with pirated material, Walker said in the post. Changes will occur over several months, he said.

“These are encouraging and positive first steps,” Mitch Bainwol, chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America, said in an e-mailed statement. The Washington-based trade group represents music labels, which have lost sales from recorded music to online piracy.

“We are encouraged by Google’s recognition of the responsibility of all participants in the online world to help combat online content theft,” Bob Pisano, interim chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in an e-mailed statement. The Washington-based trade group represents movie studios.

YouTube Unaffected

Today’s announcement doesn’t affect procedures at YouTube, Google’s video-sharing site that accepts from copyright owners lists of files in which they hold rights.

Viacom Inc., owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, has appealed a June ruling that YouTube didn’t infringe copyrights. Viacom sued the site for at least $1 billion over unauthorized use of videos from its programs including “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “South Park.”

YouTube claimed it was protected by a safe-harbor provision that says a service provider isn’t liable for infringement if it removes material from the site when notified by the copyright owner.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, rose $7.47 to $571.82 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net