Record Labels Slam Google Over Illegal Downloads

The major labels are unhappy that Google continues to show search results for illegal download websites - but can it ever really beat the pirates?

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Google is facing criticism from the major record labels because its service still acts as a portal towards music piracy - and apparently does too little to combat it.

Speaking on behalf of the major labels, the IFPI accepted that "modest steps" had been taken, but the search giant should have done more to combat digital pirates who can search for torrents and downloads through Google - just as they can through a dedicated portal like the Pirate Bay.

Further, it highlights that Google profits from this activity, as it earns from advertisements displayed while people search for illegal downloads, according to Gigwise.

"Google also needs to do more to ensure that it does not derive revenue from illegal activity and supports the digital marketplace in which it itself is a participant," it said.

Now the IFPI insists that Google takes action by prioritising search results which lead to legal music services.

In September, Google made a public commitment to copyright protection through an official blog. It recognises its role in the battle against piracy, and has closed down almost 150,000 accounts from people who advertise counterfeit goods through its advertising system.

Meanwhile, Google has opened its own digital music store in the US to compete with Apple's iTunes. The statement by the IFPI today could become irrelevant, as the search company is likely to prioritise its own music listings above both digital music retailers and illegal torrent sites.

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12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jjbarnes
    They're basically trying to use SOPA/PIPA before either actually passes. You can't ask google to censor results without taking away freedom of speech.
    sopazs
    this is stupid, google is a tool for people to search for things online; it should not be their responsibility if someone used it to do something illegal.
    xplosive59
    Even if google does something to stop piracy whats stopping people from using other search engines such as bing, yahoo etc or using Firefox instead of chrome.
    Pagan_Poetry
    xplosive59 wrote: Even if google does something to stop piracy whats stopping people from using other search engines such as bing, yahoo etc or using Firefox instead of chrome.
    Winfish right here. These organizations are the lazy ones, not google. They always attack one little thing, like all of those years spent on limewire and not every other p2p, or just attacking piratebay and not every other torrent site. I mean, yes, it's difficult to get all of them, probably impossible, but at least try more than one or two. While one or two are being hounded, users are making many more to make escape routes. It's basically a useless fight, and they won't win this way.
    lVlaniac
    Why do record labels keep shooting themselves in the foot? Google is not going to sugarcoat search results just because you happen to loose money from it.
    wicked_hobbit
    Come on, Google's cool. Plus, no matter how you manage to stop digital piracy, people will always find ways to circumvent. I'd say they better spend time and effort researching how to encourage people to buy the physical formats instead. Maybe something about pricing, artwork, additional goodies, etc.
    Kapalen
    jjbarnes wrote: They're basically trying to use SOPA/PIPA before either actually passes. You can't ask google to censor results without taking away freedom of speech.
    What? A search result isn't speech, and isn't entitled to any freedoms, google is free to do anything they want to them, including barring ones they perceive as illegal or charging for higher priority, they have no obligation either way.
    Mass_debator
    wicked_hobbit wrote: Come on, Google's cool. Plus, no matter how you manage to stop digital piracy, people will always find ways to circumvent. I'd say they better spend time and effort researching how to encourage people to buy the physical formats instead. Maybe something about pricing, artwork, additional goodies, etc.
    Content that doesn't suck
    sheriff_nein
    when you search "[album name] mediafire" or something like that, Google bringing up mediafire's site means that the engine is doning its job properly!