Since the knockdown of the proposed SOPA and PIPA acts to combat online piracy, music industry execs are mulling other ways to stop people from pirating music from their artists. Specifically, industry groups like the RIAA and IFPI are targeting search engines in hopes of sweeping links to sites like the Pirate Bay under the rug.
The RIAA and IFPI contest that Google and other search engines are abusing its market dominance to “distort the market for online music”. While Google has been working with both groups to take down sites hosted on Blogger that lead to pirated content, it appears that the music industry would like to see the company step up its efforts quite a bit, or it may sue them.
According to this leaked document, the recording industry believes that Google can do more:
Google continues to fail to prioritize legal music sites over illegal sites in search results, claiming that its algorithm for search results is based on the relevance of sites to consumers.
While nobody but Google knows the true algorithm for its search results, it appears that the music industry thinks that the company is knowingly promoting the concept of downloading content illegally.
The document continues to state that if Google doesn’t start to de-list file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay, and rank legal alternatives above them, a lawsuit may be on the way. This seems to me to be a last ditch effort for the music industry to defend its Jurassic Park ways of doing things instead of embracing new technology and shifting the way they operate. While I’m not a lawyer, I think it would be extremely difficult to force Google to do anything like what its suggesting in these documents.
Is Google to blame for music piracy or is the record industry just grasping at straws? Tell us in the comments!