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Google's View On the Whac-a-Mole of Blocking Pirate Sites 182

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the missing-the-point dept.
jones_supa writes "During a debate in London last night, the game of whac-a-mole related to blocking pirate sites was discussed by artists, labels, the BPI, and Google. Most interestingly, Google's Theo Bertram brought to the table the idea of going after the sites as a business, which in practice would mean strangling their (often voluminous) advertising budget. A test performed by musician David Lowery confirmed that a search for Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' conjured up a list of unlicensed sites, some of which have an advertising relationship with Google. Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites, but at the same time noted that somewhat oddly iTunes has not arranged itself a prominent position in the results to promote legally-purchased music, which can't be completely Google's fault."
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Google's View On the Whac-a-Mole of Blocking Pirate Sites

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:14PM (#43851945) Journal

    The question is how to circumvent it..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:15PM (#43851953)

    Hey guys lets uh turn off porn and uh might as well kill pirated files and anything that might infringe on a copyright.

    Let's see..... all that we got left is sports scores and taxidermy blogs.

    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      Let's see..... all that we got left is sports scores and taxidermy blogs.

      You mean like this [thebloggess.com]?

  • Search engines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Endimiao (471532) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:19PM (#43851985)

    Google should thread lightly on this path. Too much censorship and suddenly some less restrictive search engine could make it go the way of Yahoo..

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Not enough censorship or campaign dollars will make the feds stomp on google and look the other way at everyone else.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Google's strength is in their gigantic database, there's no other search engine that can replicate that.

  • iTunes (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:20PM (#43851997) Homepage

    The reason iTunes isn't up there is that the iTunes music shop isn't accessible through a web browser. You can see what is on there but all the links just try to make you download iTunes. Google indexes the web, not iTunes.

    • Re:iTunes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by John Napkintosh (140126) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:28PM (#43852089) Homepage

      Sure, downloads happen through iTunes, but it would still behoove Apple to point searches for songs to iTunes in some way, even if through some intermediary that launches iTunes to actually make the download.

      Which is probably why Google were surprised that Apple is not already doing so. Not that that has anything at all to do with copyright infringement.

      • Sure, downloads happen through iTunes, but it would still behoove Apple to point searches for songs to iTunes in some way, even if through some intermediary that launches iTunes to actually make the download.

        Which is probably why Google were surprised that Apple is not already doing so. Not that that has anything at all to do with copyright infringement.

        I am not sure Apple would gain anything buy paying to push iTunes. They have a pretty good market already with users predisposed to going there for music so as dollars would add no revenue hike raising costs. Since iTunes is device specific to a large extent the chance that someone who doesn't know about it becoming a customer is also small, so advertising makes no sense to draw in customers. So it is not surprising Apple ignores Google searches.

        • > I am not sure Apple would gain anything buy paying to push iTunes.

          Considering that YouTube is already starting to show links for music to iTunes, Amazon, etc. one would assume that they are simply tapping into another market -- the ability to just purchase the dam song(s) used in the video. There have been many videos that have interesting music but I have no clue who the artist is/was.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Google's aim is to give you what you want as quickly and easily as possible. They can give you an Amazon page where you can click to listen to samples of tracks immediately or simply buy the MP3s/CD in a few clicks. Alternatively they can give you the iTunes store page where you can see an artist and track name with a link to download iTunes next to it.

        What I'm saying is that it's no wonder you rarely see iTunes store results on Google because they are rarely what you were looking for when searching. You do

    • It never occured to me until now, but forcing downloading through Itunes is INCREDIBLY short sighted. It is this kind of hubris that will allow the competitors to consume Apple eventually.
    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      Annoyingly, it's PAINFULLY similar with web searches that lead you to the android app store...

      I manage several android devices but only one has my google account. To download additional copies of free App X through my PC, they won't link me to the file to redistribute at my leisure. Naaah! the site asks for my google ID. This gives concrete knowledge to google to examine my ID's* and devices as a cluster. Success here means that they push the App UP thru the cloud rather than down to me. I must root the pho

    • by jrumney (197329)

      Not just iTunes - I don't see any sign of Amazon, 7-digital or Google Music in the first few pages of search results either.

  • most music for sale is already on itunes. just go in there and search for music, why do it through google first?

    or amazon if you don't like itunes.

    • Because not everyone has itunes installed or has a iDevice. Dont you think it a little strange they cant figure out how to sell 5MB files through a webpage?
      • by alen (225700)

        i don't know, i never buy via itunes for my iphone. my wife likes it because you buy and it automatically adds it to your library

        i usually buy via Amazon but with spotify there is very little reason to buy music anymore

        • by fisted (2295862)
          equivalently:
          > my wife likes it because you buy and then you sort of have it.
          wow.
      • by mmcxii (1707574)
        Amazon does it just fine.
    • by tepples (727027)
      Because Apple has made a business decision to decline to port iTunes to X11/Linux, to Android, or to a standards-based web application.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:21PM (#43852009)

    Unless you remove every one of them at the same time. As well as the people.
    Good luck. You already lost that battle.
    How about you stop with your greed and abusive ways, then people might care.

    Radio never killed anyone, the internet won't either.
    Adapt or actually just seriously die already.
    I'm sick of hearing your whining, BPI.
    I don't even buy music associated with you, but shut the fuck up already.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:22PM (#43852025)

    Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites...

    Everything is possible if someone else has to do it and pay for it.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:53PM (#43852393) Homepage Journal

    Okay, so here we have a group of self-interested parties who suggest banding together so that they can

    a) Determine by themselves whether someone is acting illegally, and

    b) Take action against them by withholding services

    c) Without judicial oversight, and with no discussion of due process whatsoever, including: warnings, appeal, or handling mistakes.

    So we now have the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [wikipedia.org] which allows companies to make virtually anything a federal offense just by putting it in their TOS, they can pick and choose who they do business with at their whim, and are themselves historically immune from prosecution [google.com].

    Of course, they will only use their power for good [theregister.co.uk].

    I think we need to enforce a "customer bill of rights" which states that a company cannot just cut off customers at will. It should be enforced by the government as a condition for being granted a business license. If a service is available and the customer can pay, then the company has an obligation to make the transaction. (Glossing over some details for brevity)

    Are you against such a regulation? Under what circumstances can a company refuse to serve a customer? Race? Gender? Marital status? Sexual orientation? Ethnicity? What is the difference between any of these and arbitrary black-listing?

    • Any company can pick and choose who to do business with. Any website can ban you, including slashdot. Any physical store can order you to leave and not come back. A "customer bill of rights" which states that a company cannot just cut off customers at will would be utterly disastrous, being able to choose and refuse customers is fundamental to doing any sort of business.
  • by reve_etrange (2377702) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:54PM (#43852403)

    David Lowery's role in all this is similar (though less evil) to that of women who go into rural Thailand to convince families to give up their daughters, under the false pretenses that they will have comfortable housing and gainful employment in the city.

    Do not trust label scouts.

  • Cheapskates? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:54PM (#43852405)

    So I suppose the music business is too cheap and nasty to just stump up the money to advertise music through AdWords (and pay more for words than two-bit pirate sites), so they'd rather abuse the courts and legal system to legislate to save themselves money?

    Classy.

    • Just so you know, the issue isn't AdWords - it's searches that yield pirate sites as top hits, pirate sites that happen to display Google advertising. (Which may, or may not be music ads as the displayed ads are a combination of page related and user specific ads.)
       
      That being said, it's ridiculous to expect rights holders to have to pay pirates.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        Just so you know, the issue isn't AdWords - it's searches that yield pirate sites as top hits, pirate sites that happen to display Google advertising. (Which may, or may not be music ads as the displayed ads are a combination of page related and user specific ads.)

        That being said, it's ridiculous to expect rights holders to have to pay pirates.

        very few of those sites actually use google advertising because google advertising bans them.

        so it's kind of a moot point. that's why torrent sites tend to have whack-a-mole adverts(literally!) because they have to go with the 3rd tier advert providers.

  • by devent (1627873) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:59PM (#43852459) Homepage

    How about the Music and Movie Mafia* create their own music sites, which Google can index, and users can buy and download music and albums? *http://mafiaa.org/

    They want to know why mp3skull.com comes up first (after Youtube)? Because they offer a useful service.
    Without any trouble I can just download the song. Why can't the MAfia do a site like that?

    You know, I would be somewhat compassion to the music artists and the Mafia, if they would not be such greedy asshats.
    The copyright protected were expanded and expanded; payments for blank media introduced; DRM strengthened;
    If the Mafia would actually try and not to be greedy asshats, like not sue private citizens.
    Or like the GEMA (the German Mafia). I saw some weeks ego a video on Youtube that was posted here in Slashdot. But instead I get a "Sorry you can't see that song because the GEMA have not licensed any rights to it". I used a proxy to see the video nevertheless and then there was 4 seconds of a song at the beginning and 4 seconds of the same music at the end of a 5 minutes video! So for 4 seconds of a song, which should be well in fair-use rights, I can not see the video because of the GEMA.

    So now I have no compassion with the Mafia and associated artists.
    Put down copyright protection to about 20 years; remove the levy on blank media and pull down the DRM laws. Then we can talk again.

    • by Minwee (522556)

      Without any trouble I can just download the song. Why can't the MAfia do a site like that?

      You may be in the wrong country. These complaints are coming from the British Pornographic Industry, not the Music And Film Industry of America.

  • the idea of going after the sites as a business, which in practice would mean strangling their (often voluminous) advertising budget.

    So this would be another avenue of extrajudicial shutdowns of businesses accused of harming some other, more privileged business, that also has a financial relationship with the largest market-share search engine company, which would be executing the takedown. That doesn't sound like a just and free market to me. That sounds like plutocracy.

    And before you say, "But maybe pluto

  • ...iTunes has not arranged itself a prominent position in the results ... which can't be completely Google's fault.

    Apple must have forgot to tick the "Place my website prominently in Google's search results" check box on Google's mega-corp-website-settings.html page.

  • ... I think it's time to bring back the concepts of privateer, and letters of marque and reprisal.

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