RIAA Seeks Greater Google Copyright Cooperation

GGoogle’s latest progress report on copyright protection has drawn a positive response from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after Google’s Public Policy Blog reported ‘considerable progress’ in tackling online copyright infringement.

Google: Aiding and Abetting Web Pirates?

Google’s announcement via its Public Policy Blog comes after the internet giant’s pledge last December to ‘[make] copyright work better online’.

Steven Marks, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of the RIAA, writing on the RIAA’s Music Notes Blog, said, “There is no doubt that Google has taken steps to combat content theft online.

“[W]e thank Google for developing tools to make it easier for us to submit takedown requests, and for significantly shortening the take down times for links in DMCA notices concerning Blogger or Web Search to less than 24 hours.”

But the Executive Vice President was keen to assert the need for more work on tackling copyright infringement online.

“[T]here is much, much more that Google must do if it wants to play a responsible role in keeping the Internet secure from these illegal parasites.

“For example, Google’s ad services, such as AdSense, AdMob, and DoubleClick, continue to service illegal sites that offer unauthorized music – despite our flagging of these sites.”

The RIAA’s concerns over Google’s ad services are in spite of the announcement on Google’s Public Policy Blog that the use of Google’s AdSense on web pages providing infringing materials has always been “prohibited”.

But Marks was pulling no punches, expressing a reservations over Google’s willpower to fully crackdown on illegal services.

“[G]iven the significant benefits Google receives from these services and its commitments via the official guidelines that regulate advertisers, Google should do more to ensure that it does not place and profit from ads on sites that offer illegal content.

“We also continue to run into problems with the efficacy of Google’s takedown procedures.”

Google’s four initiatives include:

  • Acting on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours;
  • Preventing terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete;
  • Improving our AdSense anti-piracy review;
  • Improving visibility of authorized preview content in search results.

Marks’s blog was, although critical, not too quick to dismiss Google’s efforts with regards to tackling digital piracy.

Perhaps remembering the RIAA’s collaboration with Google on the matter, Marks was keen to stress that the RIAA gives “credit where credit is due”.

At the time of writing Google autocomplete suggests “The Pirate Bay” as the website of choice for users searching for ‘pi’ through the Google search engine.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies.

Samuel Agini is the editor of Andrew Apanov’s Dotted Music.