According to reports, the American Motion Picture Association is to join European film producers in pressuring Google to change the way in which the search engine displays pirated content in its search results.
Christopher Marcich, the president of the European operations of the Motion Picture Association, an organisation that represents the largest US film producers, told EurActiv that the MPA will join the European film industry in fighting Google over copyright piracy issues.
The decision comes at a time when Google is already facing legal actions in competition and privacy issues.
Pirate sites listed in Google’s search engine are causing significant losses in television in film revenue by encouraging the illegal broadcasting of new releases, says Marchich, adding that the size of Google puts the company in a special league in relation to other search engines.
Threat to freedom of speech?
The film and music industry has been lobbying for a long time for Google to demote the search position of copyright-infringing sites. The company recently implemented a system of transparency reporting under which it discloses the number of requests it receives from copyright owners to remove Google search results, and has said that it would take into account the number of valid copyright takedown notices it received for any given sites in search results.
According to Marchich, these allowances from Google show that the search engine’s algorithm is not neutral as the company claims, and can be changed.
Google however, does not agree with what it understands as a threat to freedom of speech.
The company is of the opinion that “Instead of imposing blocks or filters that might damage fundamental freedoms, governments should construct coalitions with reputable advertising networks, payment processors and rightsholders. Together, these coalitions can crack down and squeeze the financing behind online infringement.”
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