Google and Hollywood Fight Each Other Over Movie Piracy
The attack on Sony doesn’t seem to have an end. By going through the company’s leaked documents, Google learned that Hollywood and a state attorney general had been attempting to achieve the Internet censorship law.
According to Google, Motion Picture Association of America had secretly cooperated with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to forcefully alter information exchange on the Internet without enacting new laws.
Google General Counsel, Kent Walker, released a blog post Thursday, saying that “the MPAA pointed its guns at Google.” He cited emails between Sony’s top executives which were reported by The Verge, that show extensive effort has been made to block websites accused of publishing copyright material.
The interesting point is that all the mails talk of a “Project Goliath” and carry out multi-year efforts to “respond to / rebut Goliath’s public advocacy” and “amplify negative Goliath news.” What could this Goliath be? All evidence points to Google, meaning Goliath is a code name for Hollywood’s adversary.
Hood is not amused at Google’s reaction. “We’re just saying that if a website has 90 percent illegal material, they shouldn’t put them in search results,” he said. “We’ve been working on these issues for years, and Google full well knows that.”
The MPAA also shot back as a spokesperson said in a statement:
Google’s blog post today is a transparent attempt to deflect focus from its own conduct and to shift attention from legitimate and important ongoing investigations by state attorneys general into the role of Google Search in enabling and facilitating illegal conduct — including illicit drug purchases, human trafficking and fraudulent documents as well as theft of intellectual property.
We will seek the assistance of any and all government agencies, whether federal, state or local, to protect the rights of all involved in creative activities.
The battle of Internet censorship has been a long one, and even led to protests in 2012. Two bills were passed before the US Congress: SOPA – the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA – the Protect Intellectual Property Act which targeted “rogue” websites illegally displaying copyrighted content. But critics said the bills could negatively affect legitimate sites as well.
SOPA and PIPA legislation was being believed to be abandoned by their proponents, but judging from Google’s accusations, these laws may have been revived.
On Friday, the search giant filed a lawsuit in federal court against Hood, requesting that the court stop his subpoena against the company.
Google’s claims also back the legitimacy of the hack attack on Sony, where hackers retrieved the company’s executives and employees emails, and even moved on to threat the moviegoers leading to Sony cancelling the showings of “The Interview” on Christmas. Many of those documents have been released online.
Sony has not commented on either Google’s statement or the revelations of “Project Goliath.”