Google’s Eric Schmidt says that the entertainment industry should focus on taking content pirates to court, rather than just trying to get Google (and other search engines) to remove pirate sites from search results.
His comments, reported by Variety, came yesterday during an impromptu chat with reporters at an annual financial conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“The industry would like us to edit the web and literally delete sites, and that goes counter to our philosophy,” Schmidt is quoted as saying.
But Google does remove pages. The company announced at the end of 2012 that it had removed 50 million web pages from its index in response to piracy reports filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In August of last year, Google also announced a special algorithm change — we’re calling it the Pirate Update — that penalizes sites repeatedly accused of copyright infringement.
But the reality of the situation is that fighting online piracy is like a game of whack-a-mole. For every web page that gets removed, pirates are easily able to create several new pages that host the same content.
According to Variety, Schmidt suggested that Hollywood should go beyond asking search engines to help, and instead look to the legal system.
Our position is that somebody’s making money on this pirated content and it should be possible to identify those people and bring them to justice.
Nikesh Arora, Google Chief Business Officer, also told reporters that Google has shut down 82,000 AdSense users that were found to be violating copyright in some way.
We’ve written about this topic quite a bit already, so see the related articles below for more background.