It’s an ongoing battle between illegal content streaming sites and the companies whose content is being illegally streamed (see our previous blog post about MPAA cracking down on The Pirate Bay torrent site’s distribution of movies: Major Movie Studios Among Many to Sue for Pirate Bay’s “Booty” .) Now studios and production companies are teaming up against a place that they see as contributing to the problem of illegal downloads– Google. The House Judiciary Committee came to UCLA this past week to conduct hearings to learn more about online copyright infringement from the entertainment industry as it conducts a review of the Copyright Act. One of the members of a film industry advocacy group argued that search engines, specifically Google, are contributing to film piracy by allowing torrent sites, like The Pirate Bay, to come up in search results for film titles. Google’s legal director for copyright, Fred von Lohmann, responded to this claim by saying that the company responds to copyright infringement notices as they come up but will not preemptively block piracy websites as, “We are not in a position to decide what is legal and what is illegal online.” As well, according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, websites are protected from legal action as long as they take down illegal content once notified of copyright infringement. The problem, entertainment industry advocates note, is that the content often quickly reappears elsewhere, and it would only take a quick Google search to find where. The discussion is ongoing and incredibly interesting– check out the full article from Variety (which also featured The Hollywood Lawyer earlier this week) here: Google Executive, Hollywood Producer Spar Over Piracy at Copyright Hearing.
Have a wonderful weekend, and don’t forget to legally consume your online content!
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