Report: Google Is Both Friend And Foe To The Music Industry
February 22, 2013 at 5:34 AM (PT)
For the music industry, writes BEN SISARIO in THE NEW YORK TIMES, there's a "Story of Two Googles." SISARIO notes on one hand, GOOGLE has numerous licensing agreements with the major labels and music publishers, along with movie studios and other media companies. But a darker side of the relationship involves searchers being able to find illegal downloads.
The report notes, "the latest incarnation of Big Media vs. GOOGLE search is a report issued on THURSDAY by the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, or R.I.A.A., accusing GOOGLE of failing to make good on its own promises to punish pirate Web sites. In AUGUST, GOOGLE said it would take into account notices of copyright violation -- of which the music industry files thousands each week -- in determining a site's search rank. The implication was that infringing sites would fall into obscurity and consumers would 'find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily,' as AMIT SINGHAL, a senior GOOGLE executive, wrote in a company blog post at the time."
The RIAA continues to complain that GOOGLE has been slow to remove offending sites. "Six months later, we have found no evidence that GOOGLE's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy," the RIAA report said.
In response to the report, a GOOGLE spokesman told THE TIMES, "We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for GOOGLE Search, quickly removing more than 97% from search results. In addition, GOOGLE's growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year."
It's the latter part of that statement that's the rub, claims SISARIO, as it's difficult to pressure a company that's providing a revenue stream to the record companies.
Read the full article here.