The IFPI and RIAA, music industry entities, have resumed their attacks on the search giant, accusing Google of breaking its promise to tone down piracy portals in its search rankings. The outfits have both published articles in a coordinated campaign in order to call for Google to adopt a 5-point plan to fight digital piracy.
This move is the latest in a fight between the entertainment industry and Google, even though the tech giant is an increasingly strong partner for various music labels and publishers via its YouTube and Google Play services. Nevertheless, the industry remains cross, claiming that their anger is justified, but the outfits don’t suggest any clear plan to resolve the argument.
In the meantime, the tech giant points at its 100 millionth takedown notice received from music copyright owners. The notices have been received within the last 2.5 years, at an accelerating pace: in December 2013 alone, the British music body the BPI sent 5.2 million notices, while the Recording Industry Association of America sent 2.3 million. The copyright owners consider Google the largest piracy discovery website in the world.
In response, Google published a report last September hitting back at the claims that it fails to address piracy and questioning whether the issue is as huge as the music industry claims. The report broke down Google’s activities, including such legitimate services as YouTube and Google Play, as well as Content ID system for helping copyright owners make money from uses of their music on someone’s videos. The company also emphasized its efforts within its advertising business – Google ensured that its adverts weren’t appearing on piracy websites.
Google pointed out that turnaround time on takedown notices was less than 6 hours, and keeps decreasing despite the rocketing volume of requests. Finally, the tech giant reminded that search was never a major driver of traffic to pirate sites. Indeed, all traffic from Yahoo, Bing, and Google combined accounts for only 15% of traffic to BitTorrent trackers.
Besides, Google questioned the methodology music industry used for the rightsholders’ research. The company provided its own statistics showing that people searched for a “song title” 16 times more often than “song title mp3” on Google and found lots of legal links at the top of the results.