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Big Media Wants More Piracy Busting From Google 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the lend-a-hand dept.
suraj.sun writes "Last month, executives from two music-industry trade groups, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), asked Google if it could provide a means to help them track down pirated material more efficiently. Typically, copyright owners are responsible for finding pirated links and alerting Google, which is required by law to quickly remove the links. But Google's response raised eyebrows at some of the labels. James Pond, a Google manager, wrote in a letter dated September 20, that Google would be happy to help — for a price."
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Big Media Wants More Piracy Busting From Google

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  • Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:08PM (#33888764) Homepage

    It's only evil if you're not getting paid for it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by froggymana (1896008)

      Is that why all open source software is considered evil by big companies?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Trufagus (1803250)

      You might want to read the article and think about it for a second before posting.

      If Google does what is being asked of them then they have to give in to China too, and where does it stop.

      I thought that Google's way of telling the labels to go away was appropriate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLimecat (1103839)
      Am I understanding your drift right-- you think it is Google's responsibility to shoulder the burden of searching for pirated music, for free?? While we're at it, why shouldnt local police departments everywhere just ask Google to host a few virtual servers for them, free of charge? I mean, Google is against crime, right?
      • by Pharmboy (216950)

        I think his point is that Google still believes in the motto "Do no evil", unless the pay is really good.

        It's kind of like in Animal Farm, whereby the rule "No animal shall sleep in a bed" was modified by the pigs to add "with sheets".

        • by fyngyrz (762201)

          So your argument is that identifying people who are pirating music is... evil?

          Not sure I buy that one. In the US, at least, this is best dealt with at the level of the legislature. If you don't like the way it is, (I guess you want music to be inherently free?) find enough like-minded people and change it. Or (and I know this is crazy talk, but...) just don't pirate music.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            "So your argument is that identifying people who are pirating music is... evil?"

            Identifying them? No. Claiming that they're stealing something or hurting someone? Yes.

          • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

            by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @12:48AM (#33890652) Journal

            Want has nothing to do with it. Data, including music, is inherently free. No deal with Google or any other business, nor any law is going to change that.

            Anyone can potentially commit millions in copyright infringement in under a minute by simply giving a thumbdrive loaded with music to another individual. There is no practical way for 3rd parties to know of that, let alone prevent it. No evidence to cover up.

            The industry can still get people for public uses. But chasing down individuals is hopeless. Except for those few lives messed up, it's amusing watching them try. Google surely understands this, so perhaps asking for money is their way of disingenuously saying no. The cartels should stop making such stupid demands. As it is, Google is being squeezed. If they outright refuse, they get sued. So they have to tread carefully, and give the cartels something reasonable that forces them to realize that they're asking the impossible. This is something the cartels won't be able to do much with, and they will have a hard time blaming Google for not being more cooperative. It would be better if we could stop pussyfooting around, and just laugh the cartels off.

            • I think its a bit funny the fact that they expected "free" service from Google to catch people that expect getting a "free" service.

              If I was Google I would be asking for a fee per, as well as a percentage.

              They are basically asking for a filtering service which Limewire, Napster, etc... all said was basically impossible and impractical to implement (and that was in terms of only their piddly ass applications, not all internet everywhere). Google is saying "Sure we can do whatever you want us to do, but your

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Pharmboy (216950)

            If you don't like the way it is, (I guess you want music to be inherently free?)

            I don't pirate music, I just don't want commercial businesses actively involved in policing copyrights. It is that simple.

    • by Reteo Varala (743)
      Oh, really? So, it's not evil if I point a laser at the earth and demand one million... I mean, one hundred billion dollars, because I'm getting paid to do things that would otherwise be... evil? If that's the case, does that mean the evil medical school I attended wasn't evil either? Perhaps I should demand my money back... once I place sharks with frickin' laser beams in their swimming pool...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ash Vince (602485) *

      It's only evil if you're not getting paid for it.

      Helping companies track down people depriving them of legitimate revenue is not really evil is it? I produce something, I should be able to get paid for it. If you do not want to pay for it: fine, do not use it then.

      I think the RIAA's tactics stink. I think some of the law firms going round issuing threats to sue just as money making scheme are even worse.

      I do however think that if I produce a product that I choose to charge for an you use it without making that payment then you are the evil one, not me. I

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      All the MAFIAA has to do is google for it. If they want Google to work for them let 'em pay. I see nothing evil here. That's not to say Google has never done evil, but this ain't it.

  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:08PM (#33888770)
    I mean, was there any shadow of doubt? It's a request for a service which Google can provide, but is not mandatory, either by law or by Google's internal rules and regulations.
    I see no faux pas here. Pay enough and we will help you.
    I only hope the price is sufficiently high.
    • Re:Of course (Score:4, Informative)

      by aliddell (1716018) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:10PM (#33888786)
      From TFA:

      A music industry source estimated that such charges could add up to several million dollars a year.

      Which, unfortunately, would be something, but better than they deserve.

      • by whoop (194) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:54PM (#33889062) Homepage

        That's a bargain, considering with each link they lose billions and billions of dollars.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) *

          That's a bargain, considering with each link they lose billions and billions of dollars.

          No, billions is a readily quantifiable value. They don't want that, because then people might ask them to prove how much they lose. So instead, they lose either gazillions or bazillions, whichever is greater.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:28PM (#33889256)

      but... but... but they are used to getting what they want, at no charge (usually at the taxpayer's expense). They aren't used to paying for the protection of their outdated distribution-control based business model!

      "I understand we charge a standard rate of $5 per thousand queries, which is charged to recover our costs in providing this service," Pond wrote.

      A music industry source estimated that such charges could add up to several million dollars a year.

      If you burn 5 million dollars, you get... [Dr.EvilVoice]ONE BILLION queries! [/Dr.EvilVoice]

      • Well, actually, Im pretty sure that no, they DONT get things for free. Pretty sure they pay for office supplies like everyone else.

        Smells like feigned suprise, or perhaps they were hoping for some way to force google to give them free access.
    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Knightman (142928) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:41PM (#33889348)

      Basically Google want to offset the search cost because they loose the income for the ads when a 3rd party access the search engine directly. And the labels acts surprised that they have to pay for a service.

      It's funny how the labels and all the rest of the copyright lobby want to move the policing of pirated material to ISP's and search-providers and not to pay for it. I guess it's a bit of a rude awakening to have to start paying for things when you have had a free ride for decades.

      • I find it ironic that we have two extremes that seem clueless about how much they have in common. At one extreme are the pirates who wouldn't pay for music if it were offered to them at a penny per song*. They don't seem to see why they should pay for what they are getting (music).

        At the other extreme is the music/movie industry that seems to want Google/ISPs/Government/etc to do their job of finding and prosecuting pirated content for them free of charge (to the music/movie industry). They don't seem to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It is common in business: if there is something that you don't want to do but can't risk saying so outright, then you ask for more than the person asking is willing to pay. The tricky part is deciding to be teasingly high (the diplomatic no) or ridiculously high (the barely concealed insult).

  • Google's service (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

    Google's search engine only catalogs search results. If these companies want special features, it makes sense that they would be willing to pay for its development. And since such a service would rely on Google's servers, there would also be an additional fee to help Google defray the cost of the additional load.

    Google isn't standing up to anyone here. They are simply doing business.

    • Furthermore they're doing business in helping a company protect its legal rights.

      Google providing search engine technology to help another company do business? EVIL!

  • OK, question time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:13PM (#33888824)
    WTF is a pirated link?
  • by davmoo (63521) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:14PM (#33888828)

    Google will have to have employees spend many hours of labor doing this. Of course they should expect to be paid for it by the content owners. Only a group of idiots like the RIAA would expect them to do it for free.

  • Evil or not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seeker_1us (1203072) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:17PM (#33888846)
    The Google response seems entirely appropriate. The MAFIAA runs around like spoiled, bullying children. Google's response is "yeah, you need a job done, maybe you should consider paying for it."

    And you know what? I'd trust Google a hell of a lot more than Id trust the other MAFIAA goons. I bet Google would at least make sure who the "infringing" material belonged to.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I didn't know links to pirated material had to be removed. Google taking down these links, even if required by law, worries me about an "official" internet coming soon.

    • by Tim C (15259)

      I bet Google would at least make sure who the "infringing" material belonged to.

      Why would they do that? More importantly, how would they do that? Email the site admin and ask nicely?

      I really don't see that that's something that Google would want to get involved with. Something that we would want them to do, yes, but it's really not their problem or their area of expertise either.

  • Just Google it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:24PM (#33888896) Journal

    If Google had a more efficient means of finding what you're looking for, they'd incorporate it into their search engine. If you're looking for copyrighted information, just google it.

    Also, James Pond [slashdot.org]?

    • by binkzz (779594)

      If Google had a more efficient means of finding what you're looking for, they'd incorporate it into their search engine. If you're looking for copyrighted information, just google it.

      Also, James Pond [slashdot.org]?

      I was thinking more along the lines of: James Pond [wikipedia.org]?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, since this link has 1000 songs, we'll reveal its identity to you for only 1% of its total value: 1000 × $150000 × 1% = $1.5million. That seems totally reasonable, doesn't it?
  • by bakes (87194) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:30PM (#33888928) Journal

    'Raised eyebrows'? Maybe Google used RIAA's pricing model and asked for $10,000,000 per infringement.

  • by Taibhsear (1286214) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @06:48PM (#33889018)

    And I want a pony.

  • Now the big media will actually have true legit #'s to show how much piracy has costed them shame those will just get added to the inflated BS #'s they say they already lose... Oh well guess cd prices can go up another $5 and drm downloads another dollar... not like i pay it. But that being said id like to make the point of if i couldnt download it i wouldnt id prolly never see it cause i wouldnt pay for it in the first place so im not making them lose money cause there wasnt ever going to be money spent.
  • by shoehornjob (1632387) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:10PM (#33889144)
    What he really said is "We don't want to fight your fight. Now pay me or fuck off."
  • Seems reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by somenickname (1270442) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:13PM (#33889158)

    I propose that Google charge the RIAA slightly less than retail value per CD worth of infringing music that they discover. Using RIAA logic, every prevented CD download is a sale so, this seems like a very modest cut for Google to take if it helps recoup all those untold billions of dollars the RIAA is "losing".

  • by SudoGhost (1779150) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:32PM (#33889286)

    Big Media Wants More Piracy Busting From Google

    This just in:

    Cigarette companies want to downplay the harmful effects of tobacco.
    (Insert party here) wants more control over the senate.
    Religious officials suggest being religious is good for you.

    I'd file this one under the No Shit category.

  • Google? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:44PM (#33889376) Homepage

    So why are pirated materials now appearing in Google?

    Well, it would seem partly because various fake torrent sites think it is a good idea to have their index indexed by Google. Which then leads to people without a clue clicking on links to all sorts of silly stuff.

    Ever notice that no matter what you are looking for there are sites that have the exact keywords you are searching for in the exact order you are searching for them in? Oddly enough, it seems that these results always lead to another non-Google search page which is doing a search and showing some kind of results. With Google ads on it. Again.

    If Pirate Bay has an index and it is not indexed by Google, then what good does it do for Google to be doing this? On the other hand, if this eliminates torrentsareus.biz, I'm all for it.

  • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @07:57PM (#33889456) Journal

    ...was set at THEIR SOULS.

    The record industry executives immediately pointed out that they HAVE no souls of their own, and would the company accept souls they had collected from musicians and filesharers? They were told in no uncertain terms that third party souls would NOT be accepted.

  • There, fixed for ya.

  • by PatPending (953482) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @08:28PM (#33889600)

    Google gets paid by the RIAA and the IFPI to put people on a list.

    Then Google gets paid by those on the list to be taken off the list.

    Note to self: buy more Google stock

  • In our time, we view these organizations who are fighting to stop the spread of ideas the same way you might look at the mini-war caused by prohibition.

    So many legal battles, so many livelihoods ruined, all these resources drained that could have been invested in other, more meaningful things than whether or not someone was entitled to see a film or hear a song...it's sad to see, really. And what a damned waste.
    • Oh yeah, what is Black Gold Alchemy's renewable energy product?
    • by SEE (7681)

      In our time, we view these organizations who are fighting to stop the spread of ideas the same way you might look at the mini-war caused by prohibition.

      Mini-war? Is that what you call what's going on in Mexico in 2010?

      Or, wait, is 2058 still so benighted that it's pretending prohibition ended in 1933, when only alcohol was removed from the list of mind-altering chemicals banned by the Progressives in the 1910s?

  • War Profiteers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @09:05PM (#33889752) Homepage

    The telcos get paid rapacious fees by the government to "voluntarily" provide direct intercept rooms for the war on terror. Halliburton and Blackwater get paid highwayman prices for services in the war zones. Now Google is licking its lips over getting a taste of the copyright war booty.

    In an America run by authoritarians who love war, war metaphors, getting re-elected for their positions on war, and getting campaign ads sponsored by war-enriched corporations, being anything other than a war profiteer is choosing to be second tier.

    Good? Bad? Necessary but regrettable? Maybe all those things in various specific cases. But always: A big chunk of GDP.

    Eisenhower was right about the military-industrial complex. The only thing he missed: That war and war spending is not limited to things involving soldiers and guns. The war metaphor gives us the opportunity to extend war-footing excesses to all our beloved oligarchs.

    • How in the hell is this related to war profiteering? This just sounds like another excuse to hate the USA.
      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        How in the hell is this related to war profiteering?

        The post was quite clear. Try reading it without skipping every other word, and perhaps it will be more clear to you.

        This just sounds like another excuse to hate the USA.

        Rarely do I lower myself to feed the trolls, but your shallow jingoism is offensive to my deep and considered patriotism.

        Note that the threat of the military industrial complex was, as noted in my post, highlighted by Eisenhower. Do you believe Ike hated the USA? The extension of the war m

  • Mis-Read Headline- (Score:3, Insightful)

    by no1home (1271260) on Wednesday October 13, 2010 @09:24PM (#33889838)

    I initially thought the headline said Big Media Wants More Privacy Busting From Google

    I guess that's likely true as well.

  • I don't get it -- RIAA claims to lose 12 billion dollars [riaa.com] a year due to piracy. If the Google API helps them recover a tiny fraction of that amount, then it's worth the few million dollars/year they are estimating the API costs would be.

    It seems almost as if they think that there is not as much piracy out there as they claim!

  • Google does a miserable job of vetting their advertisers. A huge number of junk sites, and some outright scams, are monetized using Google ads. As I pointed out yesterday, there are even sites that are on Google's "This site may harm your computer" list, yet have Google ads. [slashdot.org] They're clearly not trying very hard to purge their advertiser base of slimeballs.

    Here's a rant by a woman in the "responsible" end of the SEO industry: "Dear Google...Stop Making Me Look Like a Fool!" [highrankings.com]

  • Pond.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by db10 (740174)

    .. James Pond

  • It seems like everyday we read about the mega companies doing this or that. Putting pressure on a politician to adopt the law they have written which greatly limits the rights of Americans. Each one seems to be more egregious than the last.
    More and more complain, yet less and less action is taken by the ruling class.
    It seems these days, our politicians don't even try to hide the fact that they are owned by companies.

    I am really starting to wonder, will Americans rise up again against oppression? Will the po

  • This raises the question if the pirate bay could have become legal when they included other internet search results, besides just torrents.

  • Why should Google have to pay it's employees and spend it's resources to track down the RIAA's problems?

    It is not Google doing the pirating I don't see why they should have to clean up the mess.

  • When someone offers you a deal that you really don't want, but for whatever reason, you don't want to be seen saying "no" or otherwise turning down business -- then say "yes" to the offer, but make sure that it will be so expensive that the deal is sure to be OBE.

    To wit FTA:

    The third was a paid product called Site Search, Pond wrote. "The only option for the IFPI/RIAA to access our Web search API will be the third option," Pond wrote, according to the source who had seen the letter.
    "I understand we charge a standard rate of $5 per thousand queries, which is charged to recover our costs in providing this service," Pond wrote.
    A music industry source estimated that such charges could add up to several million dollars a year.

  • Why doesn't MS use Bing? They own it, don't they?

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