The Washington Post

Google announces anti-counterfeit measures

Google has launched a three-pronged approach to deal with businesses attempting to sell counterfeits goods online.

First, it will address reliable AdWords counterfeit claims within 24 hours. Second, it will work with brand owners to identify counterfeiters and possibly expel them from the AdSense network. Finally, it has launched a center help page for reporting counterfeits.

“Ads for counterfeits aren’t just bad for the real brand holder — they’re bad for users who can end up unknowingly buying sub-standard products, and bad for Google too,” wrote Google senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker in a blog post .

Google has also been working on its algorithms over the past few weeks, recently enabling a feature that lets users block sites from searches.

The House Judiciary Committee took up the issue of piracy in a hearing Monday. One measure proposed in the hearings was to have Google change its algorithms to cut out sites known for piracy. In her prepared remarks, acting U.S. register of copyrights Maria Pallante told Congress that the search engines can be part of the solution to stopping counterfeiters. “Search engines point users to rogue Web sites, but technology may exist that would allow them to block such sites from appearing in search results, much as search engines have eliminated child pornography from their results,” she wrote.

The U.S. government has recently been on a crusade against counterfeiters and pirates as part of its Operation Protect Our Children initiative. In February, the office mistakenly took down 84,000 sites under the domain, splashing each with a banner warning about child pornography. The error was corrected, but the domain provider warned that it could take up to three days to remove the banner, Ars Technica reported.

Related stories:

Google enables site blocking’s Christine Jones talks about intellectual property

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.


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