Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

RIAA Says Google Doesn't Do Enough to Fight Piracy

By - Source: RIAA | B 62 comments

The RIAA isn't buying Google's efforts to thwart piracy, pointing out flaws in its "Take-down" efforts.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has fired back at Google over its transparency report released last week, basically saying the search engine giant doesn't do enough to fight piracy despite its recent efforts. Google claimed that in just one month, it received almost 1.25 million take-down requests on behalf of 1,296 copyright owners.

Apparently that's just the tip of the piracy iceberg.

"Even more transparency is needed to fully understand the scope of the problem," said Brad Buckles, Executive Vice President, Anti-Piracy, RIAA. "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 amount of infringement."

Buckles points out that anyone can search for any major recording artist’s track and the term "mp3," and discover that most of the very first results offered by Google direct people to infringing material. Similar results are also seen when searching for any popular creative content followed by the words "free download."

"On the one hand, Google states that it processes an overwhelming number of notices," he said. "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 sites."

Buckles goes on to point out five facts. First, Google places artificial limits on the number of queries that can be made by a copyright owner to identify infringements. The company even limits the number of links copyright owners can ask them to remove per day. Google has also placed constraints on the tools they promote to deter infringement to identify and notice infringements -- constraints that are well below what is necessary.

"One needs to consider these numbers and Google’s activities in context," he said. "Google says it received requests to remove 1.2 million links from 1000 copyright owners in one month.  But consider that Google has identified nearly 5 million new links posted in just the last month in searches for free mp3 downloads of just the top 10 Billboard tracks."

In his fourth fact, Buckles points out that Google claims that the DMCA notices it has received for a site represent less than .1-percent of the links it had indexed for the domains at the top of its list. But this percentage is misleading given the constraints imposed by Google on a copyright owner’s ability to find infringements and send notices to Google.

Finally, if "take down" does not mean "keep down," then Google’s limitations "merely perpetuate the fraud wrought on copyright owners by those who game the system under the DMCA." Buckles offers up an example of this, saying that Google has blocked search results leading to linked pirated material on a specific site, but hasn't blocked the site itself. Thus, the RIAA keeps having to send requests each time the site throws up a new link to the content in question.

"In order to truly address this problem, Google needs to take its commitment to fight piracy more seriously by removing the limits on queries and take downs, by taking down multiple files of the same recording instead of just one when a 'representative sample' of infringing files is provided to them, and by establishing meaningful repeat infringer policies," he said.

"Clearly the current process is not working," he added. The full Google-bashing report can be read here.

Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 37 Hide
    john_4 , May 31, 2012 9:04 PM
    Hey RIAA, Go F yourself.
  • 32 Hide
    wintermint , May 31, 2012 9:06 PM
    Google is a search engine. It is suppose to give us results. Stop getting in the way RIAA >:[
  • 31 Hide
    erunion , May 31, 2012 9:08 PM
    Is Google hosting the files? No? Then go away.
Other Comments
    Display all 62 comments.
  • 37 Hide
    john_4 , May 31, 2012 9:04 PM
    Hey RIAA, Go F yourself.
  • 32 Hide
    wintermint , May 31, 2012 9:06 PM
    Google is a search engine. It is suppose to give us results. Stop getting in the way RIAA >:[
  • 31 Hide
    erunion , May 31, 2012 9:08 PM
    Is Google hosting the files? No? Then go away.
  • 30 Hide
    kniped , May 31, 2012 9:09 PM
    I say the RIAA doesn't do enough to make people actually WANT to buy their crappy albums.
  • 27 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 31, 2012 9:11 PM
    I think I speak on behalf of the majority of folks here when I say that the RIAA can kiss our asses.
  • 22 Hide
    Dogsnake , May 31, 2012 9:15 PM
    The RIAA thinks everyone should turn in their children, spouses, friends and whoever else if they may have made a copy of anything ever. All those who copied and recorded custom CD's should go to jail by their standards. To hell with the fact that being able to mix, match and mod up song/lists made the reel to reel tape, cassettte tape and CD media industry what it is today. The RIAA should push for the recording industry to die and go back to only live performances. Make it illegal for artists to record. If they did not record a dozen pieces of crap for every decent song then we might not want to pick and choose. Ya make it illegal to put out anything that is no RIAA judged to be perfect. These folks are plain crazy. They are asking LimeWire for damages that exceed the total amount of money in the world. Let the industry police it's own house and work out a fair distribution of royalties to artists for replays and showings of their work. The same for composers and writers. Now that American Idol is the industry defacto developer of new musical talent who gives a shit RIAA what you think. Where do you get the huge sums of money you are spending on legal fees?
  • 25 Hide
    nebun , May 31, 2012 9:16 PM
    what does GOOGLE have to do with pirating?
  • 17 Hide
    festerovic , May 31, 2012 9:17 PM
    I feel as bad for the RIAA as I do for Taco Bell when they accidentally give me a free taco in the drive thru.
  • 23 Hide
    koga73 , May 31, 2012 9:23 PM

    Just for their efforts I hope more people pirate causing the RIAA, MPAA, and Record Labels to lose EVERYTHING they have.

    If you want to help follow the steps below:
    - Get a VPN
    - Encrypt your HDD with TrueCrypt or BitLocker
    - Use PeerBlock when downloading
    - Use TorBrowser to surf pirate sites
    - Use Eraser to permanently erase pirated files when your done with them
    - Use magnet links for torrents and enable full stream encryption and random ports
    - Use OpenDNS instead of your ISPs DNS
  • 22 Hide
    JamesSneed , May 31, 2012 9:24 PM
    When Google stops cooperating then what RIAA? I don't think RIAA has any legal basis to force Google to cooperate since they are a search engine so they are not actually hosting the copyrighted material?
  • 21 Hide
    DjEaZy , May 31, 2012 9:28 PM
    RIAA Says Google Doesn't Do Enough to Fight Piracy? So what!?
  • 18 Hide
    NightLight , May 31, 2012 9:28 PM
    stop putting warnings on my dvd's and i'll actually buy some more!
  • 22 Hide
    memadmax , May 31, 2012 9:32 PM
    Make music and movies that are actually worth a damn....
  • 20 Hide
    Marco925 , May 31, 2012 9:36 PM
    RIAA Says Google Doesn't Do Enough to Fight Piracy

    It's Not google's job!
  • 11 Hide
    noreaster , May 31, 2012 9:41 PM
    I do not believe Google is the one to blame for the prevalence of piracy. Google is merely a search engine, like asking a librarian for a book on a given topic, the librarian goes to the card catalog or pulls from their memory and directs us. A librarian would not be at fault for directing me to a book about bomb making if I ended up making a bomb. However, the person who wrote the book (artist), the publishers (uploader), and possibly the library (distribution website) for shelving the book (hosting the material) could be held liable to some degree.
    The request that Google take down the whole site from its search results is also preposterous, this would eliminate the display of results for non-copyrighted material on that site along with copyrighted material. The site itself is partially liable for the material it hosts, but ultimately they too are only offering a service which can be taken advantage of, as in the librarian example.
    I do not blame the RIAA for wanting to protect its copyrighted material, otherwise why have a copyright? However, I think the RIAA needs a scape-goat and Google (the most widely used search engine) is fulfilling that role at this point, with much resistance. The real culprit is the uploaders, but since anyone can legally buy the material then illegally upload it, there will always be someone uploading as long as there is somewhere to upload to. Uploading is not the problem however, there are countless legitimate uses for uploading material to the internet, as too for downloading.
    Ultimately the only way to stop pirating would be to filter each upload on the internet and scan for copyrighted material. Problem is, there are innumerable uploads each month and copyrighted material may be in any number of file formats thus making the task of scanning for copyrighted material so daunting it could not be done within the budget of perceived loss of sales. I say perceived because the courts have already ruled that a download does not constitute a lost sale; there are plenty of things I wouldn't buy unless it were free (essentially everything intangible) and as a result I utilize alternate paths of consuming them such as internet radio, which is not free since I pay for internet access and "pay" for the internet radio by advertisements but it is legal.
    Just my two cents, feel free to agree or disagree.
  • 10 Hide
    house70 , May 31, 2012 9:47 PM
    Marco925It's Not google's job!

    You hit the nail on the head; RIAA is not paying Google for the time and effort that all this involves, therefore Google is not on their payroll and not obligated in any way to comply with this BS. Furthermore, RIAA is not saying anything about other search engines, making one believe that they are going to try some legal action in the future against whoever has more money, i.e. Google.
    RIAA and MPAA need to disappear.
  • 11 Hide
    noreaster , May 31, 2012 9:50 PM
    DogSnakeThese folks are plain crazy. They are asking LimeWire for damages that exceed the total amount of money in the world.

    Reminds me of childhood..."I'm telling, you owe me all the money in the world!"
  • 7 Hide
    Rab1d-BDGR , May 31, 2012 9:54 PM
    Google is a company who goes about its own business legally and complies with the law (well, except maybe for that WiFi snooping business but I digress).

    It isn't Google's job to go about actively enforcing the *IAA's intellectual monopolies for them.
  • 8 Hide
    apache_lives , May 31, 2012 9:55 PM
    what next? Windows doesnt fight piracy? Intel? Power companies? God? My mouse?

    I like the RIAA like i like my potato's. I F'ING HATE POTATO'S.
  • 0 Hide
    speedemon , May 31, 2012 10:01 PM
    Its time to end this, and we the people can
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter
  • add to twitter
  • add to facebook
  • ajouter un flux RSS