Google Play Criticised By UK Record Industry

Industry body says new music service 'undermines artists'.

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Google Play has come under fire from a record industry body, which says the service "doesn't make sense".

The internet giant launched the new service yesterday (November 13). It aims to compete with iTunes and provide a legal alternative to illegal downloading and pirated music, says NME.

Google has, however, been accused of failing to bury links to illegal music downloads and torrents in their search engine's results. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) say the lack of action undermines artists.

Google announced earlier this year that they would modify their search algorithm to stop sites with track records for offering illegal downloads appearing in their results, but these changes have been slow to come into practice.

The BPI's chief executive Geoff Taylor told the BBC: "We don't think it makes any sense for them to be doing something which does support artists and then, on the other hand, undermine artists by referring consumers to illegal sites." He added: "We personally think three months should be long enough to get it working."

The BPI boss went on to acknowledge that Google Play's arrival in the UK would open up the market to more competition, allowing more customers easy access to legal music, but reiterated Google Play could only be seen as a good thing once it brings in the promised changes.

A Google Play representative responded by saying the service is a separate entity from their search engine parent company: "The way that our search engine works is a completely separate algorithm from anything we do on Google Play," said Sami Valknonen, Google Play's head of international licensing.

He added: "I think it's something that is hopefully going to make piracy obsolete because it's so easy to operate within the bounds of the law that there is really no need to go beyond them."

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SocksAndTrees
    It's not like Google is telling people "HEY MAN GO PIRATE SOME MUSIC", it's a search engine, it shows what people search for.
    link no1
    The overall thing the people against Google are saying is that they help people pirate by giving them the results they search for. I honestly think it's stupid since 1) That is what google is for. If I searched big booty babes and got a drunk guy fingering an otter because people complained about them advertising big booty babes, Google wouldn't be doing it's job. 2) I don't use Google to download music, I go straight to the website that has the downloads. I dunno, I kinda think most people do the same. Google isn't even a 'middle-man' for me.
    baumaxx1
    >_> The Google play I have access to is just books, apps and movies and I don't see any links to external sites/stores. A bit confused where the music thing comes into play.
    Holoogamooga
    There's a music portion of the store, previously known as Google Music (music.google.com). Upon signing up they give you a handful of songs for free and let you upload up to 20,000 songs that you can stream online.
    Holoogamooga
    "The internet giant launched the new service yesterday (November 13)." I've been using this since last winter. Apparently the 13 November date was for the store as a whole in Europe.
    Smegal
    This seriously made me palmface for over a minute. Google's SEARCH engine is a keyword searcher. Someone puts words into it and it filters the database to the likeliest results based upon a few deciding factors such as accuracy to words and popularity. This means someone looking for illegal files neednt add "Illegal" into it. If millions of people search for say "Generic artist crappy song download torrent" there will be, in all likelihood, an illigal link. this also means those words are then related to those sites even with the exclusion of download and torrent. those words have relevence to that site and that is known and stored. This works because google use something called "Net spiders" to compile a list of every site they enconter and store it away. Upon a search the database is quickly filtered to what you want. THIS IS IN NO WAY RELATED TO GOOGLE PLAY *Ahem* Google play is a service similar to itunes and not in ANY way related to these searches people put in. BPI really do not understand technology and if they do they certainly choose to ignore it. What they are asking is for is like asking someone to magically remove sugar from a cup of tea... It is not possible. If they remove sites from their database it will reappear soon after. If they blacklist sites then it will just cause other sites to become more known. I understand their point of view however they are fighting the wrong battle... They should turn their attention to how can they offer something piracy cannot give, not how to bitch and moan at a company that has done everything physically possible to help them...