RIAA And MPAA Want More Action From Google, But Will It Ever Be Enough?

Google-mpaa-riaa-2011-05-21-600No surprises here, but both the RIAA and MPAA are calling for more action from Google, as the search engine will now begin filtering searches based on the number of DMCA takedown notices a site has. While this is something both the RIAA and MPAA have requested for a long time, both seem to be seeking that more be done from Google to combat piracy.

"Today Google has announced a potentially significant change in its search rankings that can make a meaningful difference to creators: sites that are the subject of large numbers of copyright removal notices may be ranked lower in search results than before,” the RIAA said in a statement. “This should result in improved rankings for the licensed music services that pay artists and deliver fans the music they love. This change is an important step in the right direction — a step we've been urging Google to take for a long time — and we commend the company for its action. 

"As Google itself has acknowledged, this is not the only approach, and of course, the details of implementation will matter. Moreover, there are many more actions that we hope Google will take. But by taking this common-sense step and treating copyright in a way that's consistent with the search firm's approach to other forms of activity on the Internet, Google has signaled a new willingness to value the rights of creators. That is good news indeed. And the online marketplace for the hundreds of licensed digital services embraced by the music business is better today than it was yesterday."

The MPAA takes a similar stance in their statement:

"We are optimistic that Google's actions will help steer consumers to the myriad legitimate ways for them to access movies and TV shows online, and away from the rogue cyberlockers, peer-to-peer sites, and other outlaw enterprises that steal the hard work of creators across the globe. We will be watching this development closely — the devil is always in the details — and look forward to Google taking further steps to ensure that its services favor legitimate businesses and creators, not thieves.”

There seems to be an everlasting hydra effect with these sites; take one down, and two or three more appear in its place. It’s quite doubtful that filtering or delsting each and every site that mentions “MP3” and “free download” on the same page would suddenly stop piracy.

As more of these policing maneuvers bring the RIAA and MPAA closer to their goal of making the Internet a one-way communication channel, one has to wonder what more Google can possibly do that the RIAA and MPAA can't do more effectively on their own?

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com. Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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