RIAA Report Card Give Google a Failing Grade

The RIAA has given Google bad marks for its fight against piracy in 2011, according to this Ars Technica report. One year ago Google made several promises to combat piracy on various web sites and the RIAA's report card says that those promises have not been met with swift action or progress.

The RIAA says that Google's efforts to date have been "incomplete," pointing to four areas where it has failed: responding quickly to takedown requests, making it more difficult for websites that carry copyrighted material to participate in its AdSense program, removing piracy-related terms from autocomplete searches, and making legitimate content easier to find in search results.

The RIAA points out that search terms such as "lady gaga mp3 download" are still suggested by the autocomplete feature of Google search. This, they say, is because Google still refuses to prioritize legitimate content over other content such as those sites that traffic in illegitimate downloads. Of course the RIAA doesn't deserve a free ride either, nor does any other group or company in the name of fighting piracy. Getting prioritized requires someone to pay some ad money, after all.

But the RIAA's biggest complaint has to do with Google's promise to respond more quickly to takedown requests. Google has kept its promise to get faster takedowns on services it owns such as Blogger and search. While the RIAA admits that Google has kept its promise in those areas, it says that Google's management of the Android Marketplace lacks an adequate process for screening and it doesn't automatically blacklist illegitimate content from AdSense and Google Wallet. Finally, the RIAA complains that, "the [takedown] tools Google has built have limits on the number of submissions rights holders can submit each day and they do not scale to the scope of piracy online."

The RIAA ends its report by hoping that additional steps will be taken by Google to proactively block "pirate sites" from using its advertising networks, proactively screening Android apps for infringing content, and proactively list sites with authorized content ahead of infringing sites in search results.

Finally the RIAA takes a cheap shot at Google for opposing any legislation that would help combat online piracy. Of course Google would be more likely to support an act like OPEN, which is more even handed than Protect IP and SOPA. Maybe the RIAA should write better bills for the law makers they have co-opted.

Source: Ars Technica

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