indyank - 3:00 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
The potential for abuse from the infringers was already unreal.
The cause of concern, though small, here is this ranking signal might not be used against all sites. Those popular sites which are in the good books of Google aren't going to be affected. This will then prove to be a biased signal used by their algorithms which is already perceived to be biased in favor of the popular brands or websites.
For example, several popular news sites consider themselves to have the right to re-post anything from any other place on the internet, small or big, with or without proper credits or permission. Their thinking is not much different from how Google feels about the content it spiders and presents on their SERPs. I bet that these popular ones aren't going to be affected by this change and even if they do, they will come back quickly.