Film studios are going after Google for its alleged aid in film piracy

Google is coming under fire from big media studios who are accusing the search giant of aiding in film piracy. Setting this headline apart, however, is that the complaints aren’t over YouTube, but rather Google’s advertising.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Brandon Drury and Luke Sample—who ran and and are currently being sued by several Hollywood studios—got significant support from Google advertising. The two men said in sworn statements that Google offered them credit as an easy start to advertise on Google's search engine, and that the search company also suggested ad keywords such as "bootleg movie download," "pirated," and "download harry potter movie." According to the report, Google received $809,000 for its advertisements.

News of this has sent many media companies, including News Corp., Viacom, Sony, NBC Universal, Time Warner and Walt Disney, into an uproar. Google isn’t being accused of any illegal activity, at least in regards to this situation, but big executives and big lawyers of big media have filed complaints demanding that the Mountain View company pull all support for sites promoting illegal activity.

According to the Journal, Google addressed the complaints in a conference call last week, when lawyers for both sides agreed on the removal of certain ads the companies objected to, the creation of a list of approved advertisers and to refrain from selling keywords used by rogue sites to lure users to pirated material.

Google declined to comment on the specific clash over its ads, but did say that it is working on ways to screen out ads that violate the company’s policies. A spokesman for Sony Pictures said, "Discussions with Google have been ongoing for a while, and there's hope it can result in a mutually satisfactory arrangement whereby Google will not give support to pirate sites."

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