MPAA says search engines provide copyrighted content on non-piracy queries

Sep 19, 2013
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The battle between the MPAA and related industry bodies and piracy has been a long one not likely to end any time soon. In a report the Motion Picture Association of America made public today, Google and other search engines were accused of helping facilitate piracy by providing links to copyrighted content for non-piracy related search queries.

The report is titled Understanding the Role of Search in Online Piracy, in which the MPAA says that 58-percent of the search words used by individuals who viewed copyrighted content weren't specifically looking for pirated data. For example, someone searching for the latest Spiderman movie would, under the above conditions, search for just the title, rather than "Spiderman free" or some other piracy-specific term.

Search engines, however, still provide up links to these generic content-related search terms, essentially aiding in the copyright-infringing "industry". Beyond that, the association also says that search engines are responsible for the brunt of all pirated content being accessed, with one survey it conducted showing that 74-percent of participants used Google or another engine for finding pirated movies.

Looking at the wider numbers, however, we see that of visits to URLs containing copyrighted content, only 20-percent are via search engines, with the rest of them being websites that link to it and other non-search engine related ways. One should also note that the percentages account for visits and not necessarily downloads.

Google in particular is slammed by the MPAA, which says its anti-piracy efforts aren't adequate. Said the association: "The television and movie community is working every day to develop new and innovative ways to watch content online, and as the internet’s gatekeepers, search engines share a responsibility to play a constructive role in not directing audiences to illegitimate content."

Google and others don't agree, however. The Internet Association, in particular, said the MPAA is accusing technology "for its problems" and that the Internet is offering better access to legal films and related content.

SOURCE: The Guardian


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