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RIAA wants Google to do more to fight 'piracy'

It's fed up with having to make repeated complaints
Fri Mar 14 2014, 15:12
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THE POOR Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is tired of asking Google to take down individual incidents of alleged copyright infringement and wants an end to banhammer Groundhog Day.

The RIAA has taken a view opposing that of Google's senior copyright policy counsel Katherine Oyama's in her testimony before the US House of Representatives Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee this week.

Oyama had testified that perhaps takedowns are not the best system, adding that it is also open to abuse. She said that Google deals with as many takedowns in a week in 2014 as it was doing in the whole of 2010.

"The best way to battle piracy is with better, more convenient, legitimate alternatives to piracy, as services ranging from Netflix to Spotify to iTunes have demonstrated," she said. "The right combination of price, convenience, and inventory will do far more to reduce piracy than enforcement can."

The RIAA made its own statements to the subcommittee, and has also provided anyone that wants it with a copy of Oyama's testimony with its own annotations (PDF). The RIAA enjoys the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) system, but it does find it frustrating.

Where the Google counsel said one thing, the RIAA took the opposing line. For example, where she recommended voluntary systems the RIAA responded by saying that Google "hasn't yet actually entertained the idea of a voluntary agreement with content owners".

The RIAA has also published the testimony of its chairman and CEO, Cary Sherman. Along with an appeal to approve monitoring systems, Sherman asked Google to help it end the daily game of 'whack-a-mole' that it plays.

"[Google should] ensure that when links to content are taken down, the same content on the same site is not continuously re-indexed when repopulated by the pirate site, rendering the takedown process useless," he said.

The RIAA would also like to see 'pirate' websites deranked, and forced way down on search results, as well the introduction of a "trusted" badge for what it views as legitimate websites. Ultimately, it seems that it just wants an easier ride.

"Regardless of what Google takes down today, its search engine will spider the same pirate sites tomorrow and index anew all the illegal content on the pirate sites. All those links to infringing music files that were automatically repopulated by each pirate site after today's takedown will be re-indexed and appear in search results tomorrow," added Sherman.

"Every day we have to send new notices to take down the very same links to illegal content we took down the day before. It's like 'Groundhog Day' for takedowns." µ

 

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