After 100 million piracy notices, it’s time for Google to take meaningful action to help curb online copyright infringement
13th January 2014
Google, with its market capitalisation of more than US$370 billion, is directing internet users to illegal sources of music. This is not only harming a recording industry whose revenues have fallen by 40 per cent in the last decade to US$16.5 billion, but it is also harming the more than 500 licensed digital music services worldwide that offer up to 30 million tracks to internet users. How can these legitimate businesses reach their full potential when the world’s largest search engine doesn’t place them above pirate services in its search results?
Unfortunately, the recording industry has seen no demonstrable demotion of sites that receive a high volume of piracy notices. If you search for an artist’s name and the term “mp3” on Google, the first page of results you get is still dominated by links to infringing sites.
- Fulfill the admirable promise to demote sites receiving extensive numbers of piracy notices.
- Make sure that the “take down” of a song is effective and does not mean temporary removal, to be replaced 2 seconds later.
- Better help consumers to find legitimate sources of music – for example by using an icon to indicate authorised sites
- Change the way the auto-complete search function works so that it no longer directs users to pirate sites
- Make sure your stated policy on repeat offenders has teeth – why is it that, after millions of copyright notices to the same site, this is not having an impact on search results?
Google has a role to play in helping to make the internet a safer place for legal commerce. Indeed, it has launched its own music streaming service, licensed by record companies, which has attracted many plaudits. It has taken some steps to improve its reaction to anti-piracy notices from rights holders.
But it has the technological expertise to do more and it has a duty to its users to stop overwhelming them with links to infringing content when they search for music online.
The recording industry worldwide invests US$4.5 billion a year in nurturing, discovering and promoting artists. This ensures a continuous supply of new content that keeps people engaged with digital services and using the latest consumer electronics.
To enable it to continue to do that, leading technology players such as Google need to show a greater respect for copyright law. If they can take that step, then together we can build a sustainable digital marketplace that will continue to provide great music and a fantastic user experience for consumers around the world.
Catégorie : Actualités