Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Google respond to NewsCorp

In our last CopyKat we noted that NewsCorp's CEO Robert Thomson had written to the European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia criticising Google, accusing it of anti-competitive practices, and of failing to play its part in combating online piracy. Well - Google have now responded via a blog posting  from Rachel Whetstone, SVP Global Communications that notes that "Google has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy" and details the web firm's adherence to copyright takedown notices and that the system the web giant  uses has to deal with a vast number of takedowns - and that Google is proud that "the average take-down time is now just six hours", provides the ContentID software on YouTube and "we downgrade websites that regularly violate copyright in our search rankings.". Google also points out that it has helped NewsCorp monetise its content, and take umbrage about the accusation that it has become "a vast, powerful, often unaccountable bureaucracy" and that "The shining vision of Google's founders has been replaced by a cynical management" saying founders "Larry Page and Sergey Brin are still very much at the helm of Google" and continue to innovate. Finally turning to web dominance and competition issues (perhaps the most dangerous of Newscorp's claims given the recipient's job and complaints made by other European media owners such as Axel Springer, Germany's largest newspaper publisher) the blog says "As The Economist reported last week 'mobile devices have changed the way people travel the internet. Users now prefer apps to websites' home pages'. In this world Google Search is an app alongside many others. The same article adds 'the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest ... have become an important navigation system for people looking for content across the web'. It's why many newspapers get an increasing number of referrals from Facebook and Twitter".

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