Google in freetard-friendly copyright infringement update
The Friday before a public holiday is traditionally a great time to bury bad news. Google chose the Labor Day Lull to give the world an update on its copyright infringement measures. Funny, that.
Since the RIAA ended its catastrophic strategy of suing end users in 2008 (although not everyone has noticed), copyright enforcers have focused on the middlemen. Google is not only one of the biggest infringers in the world (if not the biggest) but the most trusted middleman, a global brand. The Chocolate Factory’s new strategy is to make life difficult for the casual user – the hardcore pirate will easily find what they want, and would do so even if Google was 100 per cent free of any links to infringing material. You don’t need Google if you know where to go.
Late last year Google made four proposals by which it intends to tackle infringement:
- booting pirate sites from Adsense;
- filtering search terms a little, from Autocomplete but not the main search index;
- showing more rich content from legitimate music sites; and
- responding to DMCA notices within 24 hours.
And, albeit by its own yardstick, it is doing very well, Kent Walker posted on Friday.
“In April, we were among the first companies to certify compliance in the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB’s) Quality Assurance Certification program,” wrote Walker, although he gave no numbers on (for example) how many companies had been kicked off Adsense.
So what does Walker mean when he says: “We look forward to further refining and improving our processes in ways that help both rights-holders and users” ?
But allow the hardcore pirates tell the story.
“Google hasn’t turned evil. They are just doing these little tidbits to keep the entertainment industry happy,” writes one poster on TorrentFreak. “Look at the bigger picture. If Google don’t throw these bones to MAFIAA every now and then, they would be constantly paying lawyers to defend themselves in court against the MAFIAA and who wants that huh? It’s a tricky situation and since we are are not paying money to Google to bail them out, they have to do whatever it takes to keep themselves safe and censoring terms from auto complete is not a big deal to me. The relevant results still come up on Google,” he adds [our emphasis added].
“Google needs to appease the copyright lobby with these small (and for people who know what they’re doing, meaningless) steps, to be able to make deals with them in other areas (YouTube, mobile areas, books, etc) where Big Media have more clout.” writes another.
So there you go.
Who knows better about the ease of piracy than a pirate? The TorrentFreak audience still considers Google a friendly intermediary. ®