In 1709 the Statute of Anne created the first purpose-built copyright law. This blog, founded just 300 short and unextended years later, is dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all. To contact the 1709 Blog, email Eleonora at eleonorarosati[at]gmail.com
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Friday, 1 June 2012
Google's antipiracy action is not enough, says RIAA
A few days ago Google published itsTransparency Report, which contains various data on content removal
requests submitted by copyright owners during the period July 2011-May 2012 (seeearlier 1709 Blog posthere).
Google senior copyright counselFred von Lohmannacknowledgedthat "Fighting online piracy is very important". In particular, Google does not want its
search results to direct people to materials that violate copyright laws. To
this end, it has "always
responded to copyright removal requests that meet the standards set out in theDigital
Millennium Copyright Act(DMCA)." Indeed, "the time-tested“notice-and-takedown”process for copyright strikes the right
balance between the needs of copyright owners, the interests of users".
This blogger thought that the data included in
the Google Report was pretty impressive.
Contrary to her belief, in
apostpublished the day before yesterday on theRIAABlog,
Executive Vice President Brad Buckles wrote that the data published by Google
is somewhat inaccurate. Apparently, what Google does to tackle piracy is not
"It is good to see that Google ... continues
to take steps to deter infringement. Transparency is also important -- knowing
which infringing sites receive the most notices presents an important red flag
regarding those sites.
Directing (online) traffic is a nice task ...
But even more transparency is needed to fully understand the scope of
the problem. Knowing the total number of links to infringing material available
and the limitations Google imposes on rights owners to search for infringements
reveals how meager the number of notices is relative to the vast number of infringement.
After all, as recently highlightedhere, search for any major recording artist's track and the term
"mp3", and you'll find that most of the very first results offered by
Google direct people to infringing material. Unfortunately, one sees similar
results when one searches for any popular creative content followed by the
words "free download."
one hand, Google states that it processes an overwhelming number of notices. On
the other hand, Google's data misleads by calculating that the DMCA notice
requests represent a tiny fraction of the pages on even the most recidivist
... which may become slightly challenging during traffic jam hours
Buckles concluded by saying:
"Clearly the current process is not working. Google is routinely
directing people to unlawful sources of content, which is clearly at odds with
data that suggests most people rely on search engines to identify trusted
websites at the top of search results. If Google truly doesn't want its search
results directing people to materials that violate copyright laws, more should
be done to address this problem."
In any case [unavoidably, a cynic might suggest],
RIAA“look[s] forward to continuing to work with Google and other
intermediaries to find better solutions to this problem, and to gain more
transparency into the information flows and search rankings."