Congress Takes Google to Task Over Anti-piracy Efforts

Ryan Whitwam

A congressional hearing this morning took on a confrontational tone as Representatives criticized Google for falling short on policing piracy online. After pointing out that El Goog did pull Grooveshark from the Market (which is apparently a good thing), the committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte said it was not about what Google has done, " But more about what Google has left to do."

Chief among the complaints leveled at Google is that the search giant profits from ads placed on sites devoted to piracy. The entertainment industry has been raising the alarm for the last decade, claiming that online piracy was costing them billions of dollars. They would certainly like to see Google forced to take on a more active role in stopping piracy.

Google's Kent Walker discussed the companies antipiracy efforts including the scary-good YouTube content filter. On the subject of infringing sites using AdWords, Walker denied that Google profits saying, "They cost us money to get rid of them. They cost us money when they use fake credit cards... we have no interest in having our advertisement leading to these sites."

Some members of the committee seemed unconvinced of Google's commitment, pointing to Google's search results. It is, of course, possible to find counterfeit goods and pirated content on Google. What do you think Google's role in antipiracy efforts should be?

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