Google Has Other Ideas Concerning Internet Censorship

Google remains resolute against online piracy acts

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Google Has Other Ideas Concerning Internet Censorship
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As the buzz around the government’s attempt to govern the content of the Internet increased in volume, a number of tech companies increased their volume concerning their disapproval of how SOPA/PIPA goes about its business. The most notable of the objecting tech giants is Google, who, along with other giants like AOL, eBay, Facebook, and Yahoo formed the Protect Innovation group, which was created to speak out against the online piracy acts.

Should Google stand strong in their opposition of SOPA/PIPA or is their position too defiant? Let us know what you think in the comments.

While this may be an exercise in repetition, apparently some are missing the point about the opposition. This is not a response asking to perserve the rights to download illegal files. Instead, the way in which SOPA/PIPA goes about protecting intellectual property is at question. Or, in the words of the opposing consortium:

We support the bills’ stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue” websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting…. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written…

It’s important that this message doesn’t get misconstrued or misunderstood. This, again, isn’t about the acquisition of “free” files, it’s about the way in which PIPA/SOPA goes about its enforcement.

This point was further clarified by Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, who, while speaking at the University of Minnesota, clarified Google’s position while offering an alternative approach to what the government is trying to enact. Essentially, Schmidt, and Google’s, position is that the bills would be ineffective, scattering the illegal file enablers to other sites where their activities would continue. Killing a site out of the Ukraine, for instance, one that’s offering Blu-Ray rips and other illegal content, wouldn’t stop the individuals who populated the site with the illegal files, it would just remove one of their supply chains.

Creating a new site to further host these illegal files would be a very small hurdle for pirates, which should help demonstrate the ineffectiveness of SOPA/PIPA.

Furthermore, Google is still resolute in its position that SOPA/PIPA, or at least the methods the bills suggest for policing the Internet, threatens the safety of the web, something Schmidt reiterated during his University of Minnesota speaking engagement. Schmidt also offered an alternative approach to the slash-and-burn tactics of these online piracy acts:

“There are a whole bunch of issues involved with breaking the Internet and the way it works. The correct solution, which we’ve repeatedly said, is to follow the money,” Schmidt said. “Making it more explicitly illegal to make money from that type of content is what we recommend.”

While Schmidt’s example is a simplified, Google’s position is spelled out clearly in the Protect Innovation letter:

We support the bills’ stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign “rogue” websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written and ask that you consider more targeted ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the Internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.

The idea of going after the people who are providing access to the very files the entertainment industry is so desperate to protect for further monetization purposes is a concept that doesn’t get discussed enough. Granted, Schmidt would be better served by expanding on Google’s idea for pursuing the people who fuel piracy content, but his and Google’s stance concerning the legislation in question is one of common sense.

Perhaps that’s why you don’t see such an angle in either of the online censorship bills.

Should the IP protection acts do more about pursuing the money involved in illegal file-sharing or is that another subject for another time? Share your comments here.

Google Has Other Ideas Concerning Internet Censorship
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  • http://www.webtrooperz.com/ Internet Marketing

    Now Days, this going to be very strange for Web advertising companies.


  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    I like how Eric is quoted saying “There are a whole bunch of issues involved with breaking the Internet and the way it works.” That’s funny because Google is breaking the internet and the way it works all the time. The most recent is their holding back keywords from being passed along if the search is encrypted (meaning you’re logged into one Google service or another, like Gmail or Google+). So I don’t think he should have been talking about breaking the internet and the way it works as Google wants to rewrite the way the internet works and wants it to be their way, not our way. The free market is only as free as those who dominate it let it remain a free market.

    • maria

      @Steven I totally agree. Thank You!

  • Jaime Tuney

    God Hollywood is out of control. They have destroyed this country. Screw them.

  • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

    Well, if you look into it further, Microsoft and Apple reversed their support for SOPA/PROTECT IP. Only if ClearChannel, the biggest destroyer of Internet radio, can reverse their support. After all, it’s the f***ing broadcast media organizations who are griping about this.

    Read the small print on both SOPA & PIPA: the content creators (e.g. musicians and bands) who are supposed to receive royalties from ASCAP, BMI & SoundExchange in North America (SESAC in the rest of the world) lose even more money if this passes. If an album sells, their cut after expenses is 35 cents an album. SOPA/PIPA cuts that down to 12 cents an album. Broadcast royalties will increase so much that no one can afford to be on the air.

    And the worst thing of all, those Internet broadcasters, like myself, who pay ungodly fees for licensing, will see royalties increase so much that we can’t stay on the air. Why pay royalties when those who created the music get screwed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange. Internet radio didn’t screw them over!

    This passes and the Internet goes into the dark ages, where you can’t do a goddamn thing anymore. It also kills off the free trade sites like NoiseTrade where you download music for free in exchange for promoting them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via email. We cannot become China or Iran!

    • http://www.vmgworldwide.com General Bobby Farrell

      Jake Leonard,

      You’re absolutely right about ASCAP, BMI and SESAC! They are the THREE BIGGEST THIEVES in music and entertainment – and have been for years.

      That their stranglehold and thieveries extend into the far reaches of the internet doesn’t surprise anyone who has been in recorded music or broadcasting for more than ten minutes.

      YES! You may quote me!

      General Bobby Farrell
      FireDragon Music (ASCAP)
      Bobby Farrell, International (BMI)

  • Bill Reilly

    What people don’t understand is that the US government does not own the internet, so they cannot control and/or close down a non-US website… period…

    Americans think they control everything, but they don’t… The internet will continue as it always has, and if the US government doesn’t like how it works then they can regulate it in the USA, but that’s all…


    • http://www.italkmoney.com sinip

      Amen. Now if USA would keep the debate for itself, and not bother the rest of the world, while we enjoy really free internet.

      • MGK

        “First they came for Communists,
        I didn’t speak because I wasn’t a Communist,
        Then they came for the Jews,
        I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Jewish,
        Then they came for the Catholics,
        I didn’t speak up because I was Protestant,
        By the time they came for me, there was nobody left to stand up for me.” – Woodrow Wilson

        • Spam Exterminator

          Precisely. The thing for People to really need think about would be, When did a supposed Democratic Country become a Communist Country. Once the Government starts telling it’s people what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and this is how your going to live or else. That is when a country becomes a Dictatorship AKA Communism.

    • http://wgad.net WGADNET

      100% correct. So why is the govt trying to police it? This is a business problem, not a govt problem. Dept stores have to hire security, buy expensive monitoring equipment and so forth to police their stores. The industries that are promoting this bill should have to police their properties as well. They should be required to go through a legal process just as the dept stores do when they catch a thief. When a rogue site is caught and there is enough proof that they are in violation, then shut them down. This would create new jobs which we need. And those who are pirating would know that there is now an industry looking for them.

  • Sam

    Instead of going after the pirates, why doesn’t the government go after the theaters that charge $5 for popcorn and $3 for a coke? Ridiculous.

    • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

      you are the mug for paying it.Take can/packet in your pocket drink/eat after lights off during movie, unless they search you than do not use cinama again.

  • Ricky

    Why is anyone even listening to what Google has to say? Google only cares about Google and could care less about you, your business your website, copyright,-trademark infringement, piracy and more. All they really want is for you to buy their low quality PPC traffic at outrageous rates while they hold back the better traffic for their big customers. Google has 70-80% of all searches and they absolutely do not want you in the organic listings nor do they want to give your website quality traffic. Many people don’t realize that many of organic listings are really PPC listings. They just made them look like organic listings. This is tricky Huh? If you think about this logically why Google would need so many algorithm changes for the organic listings, now up to 3 per day? It is clear that they do not want anyone to get any traction on the web unless you pay the gatekeeper, Google PPC. Google advertising is now not an option for many companies. It is just too expensive and the results are horrendous. So in a nut shell… If your business needs a nice loss this year purchase PPC from Google, they won’t let you down.

    • bob

      You make no sense. If companies are getting poor results advertising on Google they should just stop.

    • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

      This is one of the dumbest comments I’ve seen on this site in quite a while. Do you know anything about the internet?

      • http://www.google.com lazy

        Yes Bobs you really are deluded, please refrain from commenting in future.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/djskagnetti* djskagnetti

    why doesn’t the government just mind their own fucking business for once?

    • http://www.mycashforums.com matt

      I agree

    • Ryan

      Because the US Government is on the payroll of Major Corporations, policy is made by Companies not the government. Hell the major banks tell Uncle Sam what they are willing to pay as a fine for what is in essence fraud.

  • http://bit.ly/vWRsTT Nicole

    I think google is right on and when more realize this they will follow.

  • pat

    It’s funny that google stands against censorship when they censor the internet themselves in the first place, by blacklisting sites that sell links or just give free links to their friend’s sites ( just because they’re not relevant to the subject of the site)…

  • John

    I think the whole way the authorities are going about battling illegal downloading is crazy and behind the times. Why not work with the downloaders instead.

    How about the movie giants releasing movies to the download sites with an option to pay a small fee say a dollar or a pound each download. Download sites are awash with rubbish files and crappy quality moves and even viruses and the downloader has to usually go to the trouble of downloading the whole file (usually large) to find this out. Then there is the ever present threat of being caught and fined or worse.

    Downloaders are of course breaking the law but they are still movie fans and would prefer a good quality move than a bad one.

    Just imagine two files (both large remember) one may work, might be bad quality with speech out of sinc etc and you may get a nice fine


    The other is guaranteed good quality and no fine but costs a small fee

    No brainer which to go for BUT the fee would need to be small. Yes movies cost millions to make but you would still have cinema sales (lots of downloaders still see the movie at the cinema) and DVD sales and you would have an EXTRA line of income from the millions of downloaders out there, plus maybe the movie companies could even save some money as they would not have to go after so many people through the courts.

  • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk Alan

    The Swiss have recently decided that downloading for personal use is legal. This is all going to get very interesting.

    • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

      So you download from a Swiss site, as it is legal Swiss refuse any requests for IP addresses of downloader’s from other countries.
      Big new industry in Switzerland for hosting of download sites . will drive film industry cuckoo….

  • http://www.studioartistx.nl Alexander

    I think Google and all members of ‘Protect Innovation group’ should be more concerned about governments-related censorships and new laws set upon us.

  • http://www.evsroll.com EVsRoll

    It seems ironic that the Feds (DARPA) who more or less started the web now seem to understand the details as presented less than the majority those now running it. Govt. agencies daily use Google, Yahoo and the like.

    We hope the web remains open.


    • Bill Reilly

      The Feds did not start the web… The US government may have been the big part of the early internet back in the 60s, but it was a Brit (Tim Berners-Lee) who invented the “world wide web”, the part of the internet that we’re talking about here.

      The internet and the web are both in the public domain, not owned or controlled by anybody in particular.


  • Jon

    As far as I am aware this is an international webzine.

    Could we be a little less US-centric and say

    “the US government”

    rather than

    “the government”

    its irritating to an international audience. I know its the most powerful government in the world but its not the ONLY government in the world.

    Thanks Jon

  • http://www.kc-news.com Patrick Morgan

    They should stand strong.

  • http://www.cantufind.com Kev Green

    Let’s face simplicity here. Piracy is arguably about two things, financial gain and kudos for the site-owners. Take the both of them away and you’re half way there. The author is right, you will never beat these people by closing in on countries, this is a big old world.

    Why not pour some of the vast profits made by the big 5 who inadvertently help these perpetrators by allowing their links thus wares to be found work on an algorithm that can actually be built into software such as windows and others to intercept the code required for an illegal download to take place?

    Just a simple view from a simple observer. Is this even possible? I don’t know. All I know is that chasing them the way they are right now is like a puppy chasing its tail, it will never catch it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=158712235924&ref=mf Kevin

    Let’s face simplicity here. Piracy is arguably about two things, financial gain and kudos for the site-owners. Take the both of them away and you’re half way there. The author is right, you will never beat these people by closing in on countries, this is a big old world.

    Why not pour some of the vast profits made by the big 5 who inadvertently help these perpetrators by allowing their links thus wares to be found work on an algorithm that can actually be built into software such as windows and others to intercept the code required for an illegal download to take place?

    Just a simple view from a simple observer. Is this even possible? I don’t know. All I know is that chasing them the way they are right now is like a puppy chasing its tail, it will never catch it.

  • http://www.wedetectives.com Jasjot

    Piracy is a widespread disease,and it will be very difficult to contain and check its spread.

  • http://www.goodtre.com goodtre

    I love,when they blocking some websites who are hackers,or have some illegal activities

  • http://arizersolo.net Arizer

    These mega corporations have not kept up with technology over the years and as a result are completely helpless to protect the piracy of their content. In fact they always have been, since the days of bootleg audio and video cassettes were being sold on street corners, which of course is still going on. So instead of innovating and coming up with new ways to deliver and protect their content they want to create irresponsible and unclear laws that will have no real effect except to allow them to create a new stream of income by suing third parties who are not involved in the pirating in any way. What’s next: Are they going to sue the city of New York for all the counterfeit goods sold on its city streets? No matter which side you are on regarding this topic, two things are indisputable: 1.) This bill will do nothing to stop internet piracy except drive piracy innovation. 2.) The foreign pirates responsible will not be held accountable in any way.

    It really is how it is written, shoot first ask questions later. If you leave it up to record companies and movie studios then I wouldn’t be surprised if actual reviews of a movie containing the movie name weren’t safe. And that is disturbing.

  • http://www.trafficpunk.com Ryan

    Meanwhile, Google throws Wikileaks under the bus, so don’t be too quick to paint them as heroes.

  • warren

    Don’t be deceived into thinking this is all about music or fairness in anything. Piracy on the internet is no more controllable than the drug traffic coming into the US. It’s a first step to establish a control mechanism that will be expanded…guaranteed. The political left has been talking about controlling the internet for years. It’s easier to control broadcast news, a finite number of people. The internet is too big, so they need a control mechanism. This is the beginning of it. They can only affect the US, that’s all they want for now, in the US. I say no to any of it. Bad idea.

  • http://glennfurniture.com Glenn Madden

    Google is right, everyone is right, piracy is a problem.

    Google is right, shut down a website and it pops back up again on another IP address.

    There is no way to stop the piracy with present methods the entertainment industry uses to distribute its products.

    But stronger encryption and other solutions could be found to make it harder to copy the media.

    Going after the culprits in many countries is impossible.

    Letting the government come in with a spray hose full of gasoline is not the way to put out the fire.

  • http://newmovementmedia.com/ New Movement Media

    I believe that what Google is trying to do to keep the internet free of this “governed Internet” is a good thing for proper growth of the Internet and Internet businesses.

  • http://manlyelectronics.com.au DimitriAu

    Is it why Google shut down TimeLine ? – That was unique tool to find the first original article ‘shared’ many times?

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    The 0bama Admin. doesn’t have the “brass’ to stand-up to the “perps” like China, Russia, etc. and sometimes I wonder whose side that “czarist” Admin. is really on. They’d rather screw the U.S. companies and content creators than upset the outside money flowing into their re-election campaign and misguided “green” schemes.
    If Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, and Yahoo want the “right” input to meet the “right” ears they have to pony-up the “right kind of green”.
    It’s always “follow the money”.

  • http://www.the-toronto-realestate.com TomSachdeva

    Are we heading in to Communist era , I thought even China is out. Censorship should be stopped. It is our first right, the right of knowledge and free speach.

    • http://www.desua.net Kundan Singh

      You are right my friend government don’t want the Chinese people to know what illegal things where going up by the government and in international… they just want keep people like house arrest…this is for most of the countries…not only china….we won’t let do it….

  • http://www.westnet.net.au/~gordon451/ Gordon Edwards

    This comment is lifted from Josh Taylor, ZDNet.com.au:
    It’s a tough ask for ISPs, and copyright owners have yet to see that the answer doesn’t lie in punishing users. Nor does it lie in trying to block every single method that people use to share content. As we’ve seen before with Kazaa shifting to BitTorrent, people will find a way. Until Australia has more services like iView, Hulu or Netflix, which gives Australians content that is easy to access, priced at a reasonable rate and available at the same time as it is overseas, it’s difficult to see that user behaviour will be changed in any significant way.

    We in Oz have many of the same problems, and the only thing separating us from youse is that you already have the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. We have neither, but are scared &^$*less our pollies will copy yours.

    We do have this fairyland proposal to make ISPs censor for porn & etc, but that will probably never leave the tarmac.

    Now, if only we could find a way of removing the pollies from the equation… Where’s Paul Revere now that we need him?


  • harish

    if seen in many ways, google itself is the world’s biggest pirate. n number of pirated websites exists on blogger.com, promotion of all this happens on orkut and they share these links on google chat and guess what all these pirate links are available on google.com itself, so what piracy is google trying to defend.

    • Kapn Kracka

      i think with the size of the internet they were counting on those with morals to hit that report button they also put there that you failed to add in. Sometimes you have to help out if you feel it is wrong.

  • http://www.illustrationsbyphil.com Phil

    The internet is the only free news and information source. It is important to avoid rhetoric about fascism and freedom which can be used by very sophisticated entities to take over the web like it has TV, radio, and newspapers. It is far better to err on the side of laxity than to get caught up in discussing internet abuses which are inevitable in a free system. Google and Yahoo may be the internets greatest allies during this period when corporate predators lust for the free access they have in every other aspect of life. Commit to an uncontrolled internet, even if it means allowing criminal behavior. If the powers that be (not Google or Yahoo) get ahold of it, you will not recognize it in 2 years.

  • http://www.travellerbase.net John

    Google will dominate everything on the net, as been said before , Google will be your servant.

  • http://mcx-today.blogspot.com/ Deepak @ MCX Tips

    yeah i m also checking it out:)

  • http://free-coloring.info ruly

    yep, google only care about google…

  • Fimlin

    Posez-vous 3 questions : 1.Liberté, droit au savoir.
    2.Egalité, droit de différence.
    3.Fraternité, droit de vivre.

  • Kapn Kracka

    i have been fearful of bills such as these and some that have recently passed that have basicly turned some of our constitutional rights into weapons that can be used against us, specificly our freedom of speach. And it is encouraging to see a giant such as google speaking up. I am also in support of the goals how ever allowing our government to decide how has not worked in to many of the other industries they were able to convince the voting population to allow them to control. Our education and health care systems could be a lot better but the money that is put into them gets gobbled up before it gets to were it should be used. And if the government is allowed to put in what they think will fix the problem will also break a lot of stuff in the process. And clearly if anyone has a educated understanding of how the internet works and how it creates more jobs then anything any politician has attempted to do to accomplish the same thing. i would hope those that will ultimatly make the choice to pass or shoot down this bill would listen to a search engine giant(that has the ability to know what your going to be searching for within 3 letters of the first word). And i hope anyone that feels this is something the music, movie, and any other industry that is victim of there own inability to protect the content of the people that have allowed them to take a portion of the earnings to trust they will make educated descisions to provide a service that is secure and profitable. so i would have to say if you follow the problem back to its source it would fall on the movie makers and artists for not looking for a better provider to market and distribute there content. instead they just go with whats already there. so really the blame falls on those that have allowed those to let it go this far without trying something they haven’t yet. But thank you google for speaking up and providing a publicly availible, educated and dumbed down answer so everyone educated or not can see were you stand.

  • http://www.freedomoffshore.com/belizeibc.html Belize IBC

    They should hire a private investigator who lives offshore to go after the pirates. No legislation please since it will only give the freedom takers more power to take away Internet freedoms.

  • http://dgswilson.com Doug Wilson

    Any regulation coming from a government who is beyond public control comes from a government who has been bought by special interest. There is no way one can trust such a government. In fact in this form governments become nothing more than a legislating industry.

    I am for individual liberty and privacy. I say, “Let all individuals act out there passions on the internet and other media”. But, that’s not about to happen since there’s no profit for the legislative body or their owners.

    Since we’re moving into the age where dissent is a crime we may be left with linux home servers mirrored from who knows where and ham radio.

  • Walter Fitzgerald

    The Google response, after some consideration, does make a lot more sense than allowing the government, once again, to control our lives ever more. Frankly, if it’s supposedly about piracy, then that’s all the Legislature should have taken up, not the whole Internet. There is already way too much intrusion by our own government into our lives and businesses and other entities. It’s time to push that boat in the other direction.

  • Bob Jones

    This Congress seems to be paid off, which is not even remotely democratic. We don’t have a two-party system at all – we have a one party system and it only represents large corp interests.

    Hell, by looking at the SOPA/PIPA sponsors, you can’t even tell the difference between Dems and Repubs. This is not what Americans mean when they call for “bipartisan agreement.” It seems like the only time we get bipartisan agreement in America is when Congress agrees upon enforcing large interests over average Americans.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/brettcairns Brett

    There are a number of things that are disconcerting about initiatives like these. First, the focus seems to be on the means and methods and not the people who are conducting the actions of concern. Second, how much coordination is taking place with other countries around the world to tackle the problem versus what seems to be a unilateral US approach? Third, freedom of speech and the normal legal process could be easily trampled with the kinds of solutions being proposed. Moreover, who is pushing this in the first place? Too many basic questions are not being answered. How much thought went into this?

  • bpbob


  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    I suppose she has a remote controled vibrator or you are just a spammer.

  • http://www.bluemonkeyweb.co.uk Andy

    Wpw you really like using the word fascism!

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