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IFPI accuses Google of ignoring 'piracy' requests

Could count as evil
Thu Jan 16 2014, 09:53
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MUSIC CARTEL FRONT the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has painted Google as a rather evil company.

At Digital Music News the IFPI's strongly-worded post appears underneath a photoshopped picture of Larry Page and Sergey Brin as a pair of nasty looking vampire creatures. It is not a flattering introduction to an op-ed article about Google, and it doesn't get any kinder.

IFPI CEO Frances Moore said that Google has refused to be submissive enough about how it deals with website deranking requests for so-called 'piracy', despite having handled over 100 million such demands.

"This week marks a key milestone for the global recording industry in our efforts to develop a thriving licensed digital music business - we have sent our 100 millionth piracy notice to Google," crowed Moore.

"In the last two and a half years, we have informed the world's leading search engine more than 100 million times that it is supplying links to sites providing copyright infringing music that pay nothing to artists, songwriters or record producers. And this represents only a fraction of the infringing links supplied by Google, because the search engine caps the amount of piracy notices that rights holders can send."

These requests fell upon deaf ears, according to the music gatekeeping cartel's woman, and she said that Google has persisted in "directing internet users to illegal sources of music".

Break out the tiny violins because Google's alleged intransigence has cut into the music industry's ongoing billion dollar vice-like grip on music revenues.

"This is not only harming a recording industry whose revenues have fallen by 40 percent in the last decade to [$16.5bn], but it is also harming the more than 500 licensed digital music services worldwide that offer up to 30 million tracks to internet users," she added.

"The truth is that, whatever Google's claims to be helping tackle infringement, they are not showing convincing results. We would like to see Google and other search engines play a more responsible role in encouraging safe and legal use of the internet."

Last September the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was making similar noises, and in June 2012 it was the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Through it all, Google has stood firm in its responses, explaining that it does not turn a blind eye to any requests.

"We have never imposed any limit on the number of DMCA notices that a copyright owner or reporting organisation may send us," said a spokesperson. "We do have some technical safeguards in our trusted partner program (where submitters may be using automated mechanisms to send large volumes) as a safeguard against accidental flooding of the system."

Moore said that Google puts music at risk, adding, "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."

Then she went off to count the IFPI's billions. µ


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