×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Slammed by Mississippi Attorney General for “Inaction” on Piracy

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is pressing Google to take greater measures to tackle online piracy and other illegal Web activity, saying that the company’s “inaction” is “not merely a failure to do the right thing” but “raises serious questions as to whether Google is engaged in unlawful conduct itself.”

Hood, chairman of the intellectual property committee of the National Assn. of Attorneys General, wrote the comments in an 11-page Nov. 27 letter to Google general counsel Kent Walker. In the letter, Hood expresses frustration that the company was not sending a representative to a meeting of the association, which was held last week.

Hood accused Google of being “unwilling to take basic actions to make the Internet safe from unlawful and predatory conduct, and it has refused to modify its own behavior that facilitates and profits from unlawful conduct.” His letter cites not just piracy of movies, TV shows and music but the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and sex trafficking.

He also pointed out several instances in which Google has screened out criminal content, like child pornography. Nazi-related content, he noted, was removed from search results in Germany, and spam and malware are blocked because they can be damaging to users.

“Google can and does take action against unlawful or offensive conduct — when Google determines it is in its business interests to do so,” Hood wrote.

A spokesman for Google said that “our users care deeply about their safety and security — and so does Google. It’s why we’ve invested tens of millions of dollars in cutting edge technology to fight bad actors online.”

Hood called for the company to take a series of steps, including creating an icon on search results to direct users to authorized sites and making more changes to its algorithm to deprioritize so-called rogue sites that are devoted to infringing material. He also said the Google should “de-index” rogue sites, with copyright holders or a third party providing criteria to establish if a site is dedicated to infringement.

Last year Google announced a policy under which sites with a large number of takedown notices would earn lower search rankings. In September, Google unveiled a report on how it fights piracy, noting YouTube’s Content ID system as well as a method for copyright holders to monetize user-generated content. It also said that it removed more than 57 million Web pages in 2012 and disabled ad serving to more than 46,000 sites for violating their copyright policies.

Hood’s letter was in response to one sent to him by attorney Jamie Gorelick of WilmerHale, one of Google’s outside counsels.

More Digital

  • T-mobile - Netflix - John Legere

    T-Mobile Passes Netflix Price Hike Through to Subscribers

    T-Mobile is getting ready to raise prices for subscribers who have taken advantage of its “Netflix On Us” promotion: The mobile carrier will begin charging existing customers who have participated in the promotion an additional $2 per month to account for Netflix’s recent price increase. Consumers will see their bill go up starting on 6/2. [...]

  • Oona King

    Snap Hires Google Exec Oona King as First VP of Diversity and Inclusion

    Snap continues to fill out the ranks of its revamped leadership team: The Snapchat parent tapped Oona King, most recently Google’s director of diversity strategy and a former member of British Parliament with the Labour Party, as its first VP of diversity and inclusion. King, who starts at Snap on June 11, is also the [...]

  • Chrissy Teigen

    Chrissy Teigen to Rule Over Small-Claims 'Chrissy's Court' in Show for Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi

    Chrissy Teigen is going full-on “Judge Judy” in a reality show ordered by Quibi, the mobile-video subscription start-up venture founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. In each episode of “Chrissy’s Court,” the model-influencer will reign as the “judge” over one small-claims case. Like the reality TV shows it’s patterned after, the plaintiffs, defendants, and disputes are real [...]

  • IGTV-Landscape

    Instagram's IGTV Adds Support for Horizontal Videos — but Still No Monetization

    Instagram is still searching to find the right recipe for IGTV, the long-form video service it debuted nearly a year ago. In the hopes of encouraging usage of IGTV, Instagram is breaking the original design that allowed only vertical video– to now support horizontally oriented videos as well. It’s a change that bows to the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Took Down 2.2 Billion Fake Accounts in Q1

    Facebook saw a huge jump of bots trying to create fake accounts during the first quarter, with the company revealing Thursday that it took down 2.19 billion such accounts over the first three months of this year. “We’ve seen a steep increase in the creation of abusive, fake accounts on Facebook in the last six [...]

  • Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute

    Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute to Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

    The Lonely Island comedy troupe has dropped a half-hour Netflix special featuring a musical tribute to baseball greats Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. “The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” features Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as the former Oakland Athletics teammates who became known as “the Bash Brothers” for their prowess at [...]

  • Rotten Tomatoes

    Rotten Tomatoes Revamps Movie Audience Scores to Focus on Verified Ticket Buyers

    Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater. It’s another troll-fighting move by Rotten Tomatoes, designed to curb coordinated “review bombs” aimed at pushing down the Audience Score for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content