Government continues 'blame Google for everything' trend with piracy tirade
26th Sep 2013 | 23:41
Blame it on the Googie
If it's not in trouble for alleged tax avoidance, polluting the minds of our kids with easy access to filth or impinging upon privacy, you can still count on the UK government to be mad at Google for something.
This time, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport is ticked off with Mountain View for failing to do enough to combat music piracy, that's despite illegal downloads falling significantly recently
The new report, published on Thursday 'strongly condemns Google for' not doing enough to minimise the prominence of illegal download sites within search results.
MPs claimed Google is perfectly capable of filtering out torrent platforms from its search results in the same way it has kept other online nasties like child pornography away from innocent eyes.
"We strongly condemn the failure of Google, notable among technology companies, to provide an adequate response to creative industry requests to prevent its search engine directing consumers to copyright-infringing websites," the report states.
"We are unimpressed by their evident reluctance to block infringing websites on the flimsy grounds that some operate under the cover of hosting some legal content. The continuing promotion by search engines of illegal content on the internet is unacceptable. So far, their attempts to remedy this have been derisorily ineffective.
"We do not believe it to be beyond the wit of the engineers employed by Google and others to demote and, ideally, remove copyright infringing material from search engine results," the report adds. "Google co-operates with law enforcement agencies to block child pornographic content from search results and it has provided no coherent, responsible answer as to why it cannot do the same for sites which blatantly, and illegally, offer pirated content."
Google has claimed it changed algorithms to minimise sites operating copyright material, however figures from the BPI suggest this has resulted only in a minor difference in prominence.
Prior to the change, 63 per cent of artist + song + mp3 searches returned illegal content, compared with 61 per cent more recently.
The report adds: "This headline figure sums up the inadequacy of Google's response in the context of illegal downloading, though we acknowledge that is just one way in which music is now consumed online."