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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 EasyDownloadCenter.com and TheDownloadPlace.com 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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The film insustry thinks everyone is a pirate.
By Mitch101 on 2/14/2007 3:56:24 PM , Rating: 4
The Film Industry and RIAA thinks everyone is a pirate.

Im waiting for the RIAA and MPAA to file a case against the USA already.

Someone really needs to take a bite out of both of these organizations. One large enough that they will stop this shenanigans.

I love how they have all the time from thier offices to do this but no time to walk the streets of every major US city and find the places selling disc's everywhere. I wouldnt be surprised if there were illegal copies being rented out at the local blockbuster stores either.




By masher2 (blog) on 2/14/2007 4:07:07 PM , Rating: 3
> "The Film Industry and RIAA thinks everyone is a pirate..."

No, I'm pretty sure they just think the millions of people actually downloading free movies and songs are.

> "Someone really needs to take a bite out of both of these organizations..."

You can do so. Just stop buying their products...and stop downloading them also. There's a huge amount of bands on the Internet actually willing to give you their music for free. People just want RIAA-sponsored artists due to the billions those RIAA labels spend promoting them.



By TheDoc9 on 2/14/2007 5:39:41 PM , Rating: 3
I've quit buying all cd's myself, any organization that sues it's customers should be disbanded imo.


By PrezWeezy on 2/14/2007 7:13:11 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to point out that there is absolutly nothing illegal about downloading a movie or audio clip. And in fact, in all reality, the RIAA is breaching our "unalienable" rights by searching computers that have had music downloaded to them. They are saying that downloading is illegal and is thereby reasonable cause. This isn't true. Besides that, you aren't hurting the artists at all by downloading their music. They make so little money on that music because it all goes to the RIAA. In fact you could make a case that says they do better when people can download their music because it gets more people interested and want to go to their concerts. Which is where artists make the most ammount of money to begin with.

I'm not arguing you should do something illegal with the music you have downloaded, I'm just saying that downloading music alone does not make you a criminal.


RE: The film insustry thinks everyone is a pirate.
By raven3x7 on 2/15/2007 12:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
Thats just absurd. Most smaller American record labels are also members of RIAA. A lot of RIAA owned music does not get billion dollar promotion campaigns.


RE: The film insustry thinks everyone is a pirate.
By raven3x7 on 2/15/2007 5:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Right... Now you are generalizing. There are quite a few ppl who don't listen to the latest hits you know. Also promotion isn't the only, neither the most important tool major record labels use to promote/force-feed their music. Control of the distribution channels for music is that tool. Exactly that is what the Internet is threatening to take away from them.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/15/2007 6:29:44 PM , Rating: 3
> "There are quite a few ppl who don't listen to the latest hits you know...."

Who said anything about "latest hits"? Even if you're a fan of a band from 30 years ago, chances are it was popular then due to the promotion of some RIAA member label.

> " Control of the distribution channels for music is that tool.."

Eh? There are thousands of non-RIAA bands with their music available on the Internet. Free of charge. Yet tens of millions of people are-- over that same Internet-- spending their time downloading RIAA songs, all the while turning their nose up at all that free music.

And you bleat about "control of music channels" as if you don't have any choice in the matter? Give me a break.


RE: The film insustry thinks everyone is a pirate.
By lennylim on 2/14/2007 7:01:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Film Industry and RIAA thinks everyone is a pirate.

Not true. The MPAA and RIAA thinks everyone is a potential pirate.


By raphd on 2/14/2007 11:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
True.

By potential im sure you mean anyone that has a PC either with a internet connection (although u can still do stuff without one.)


By mcq01 on 2/14/2007 7:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm waiting for the RIAA to file a case against the MPAA, or vice versa!


By Sinbad on 2/14/2007 11:14:33 PM , Rating: 3
The only true pirate here is me, Sinbad! ARGH!!
The one and only terror of the high seas! ARGH!!


not to be a nazi but i cought this while reading
By EBH on 2/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: not to be a nazi but i cought this while reading
By EBH on 2/14/2007 3:45:46 PM , Rating: 5
i shal now nazi myself

its caught you idiot! not cought


By Gothmoth88 on 2/14/2007 3:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
ROTFLMAO :-)


By mark2ft on 2/14/2007 4:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Bad spelling and grammar annoy me a lot too, but I think this is ultimately a result of poor editing. I'm guessing that there is no middleman between the writer of DT articles and readers--no editor to correct anything. That's probably why we get so many poorly edited articles.


Argh!!!!!! where's me treasure?
By Sinbad on 2/14/2007 4:45:25 PM , Rating: 3
I was just using google to help me and me lads to the hidden bootie!




By Spartan Niner on 2/14/2007 10:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
You can take all "booties", while I take the "booty"

Too bad the RIAA/MPAA decided our treasure was illegal and had lawyers waiting for us at the end of our Google map... :(


RE: Argh!!!!!! where's me treasure?
By TheGee on 2/15/2007 10:13:58 AM , Rating: 2
"I was just using google to help me and me lads to the hidden bootie!"

Is that you Mr Crabs?


By thecoolnessrune on 2/16/2007 1:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Aaaaargh argh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh! GET BACK TO WORK SPONGEBOB!


Gangsters.
By h04x on 2/15/2007 10:07:52 AM , Rating: 1
Is it just me, or does anyone else find this insane:
quote:
lawyers for both sides agreed on the removal of certain ads the companies objected to, created a list of approved advertisers and refrain from selling keywords used by rogue sites to lure users to pirated material.


Now the RIAA/MPAA decides who is "approved" to advertise on google. This has really got to stop. It's like organized crime.

"You better not deal with soandso because we don't like them. If we find out you are, we'll send Vinny around to break your legs. Then Vinny's lawyer will drag you into a multi-million dollar court battle and smear your name in public."

I can't believe that we actually put up with this kind of activity from an organization whose sole purpose for existing is to make billions off of other peoples work.




RE: Gangsters.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/15/2007 12:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "Now the RIAA/MPAA decides who is "approved" to advertise on google..."

Only because Google agreed to it themselves. The fact remains that some advertisers are in fact stealing RIAA members property, and Google is (inadvertently or not) profiting from that theft.

So if both sides want to agree to "approved advertisers", who are you to step in and call this unfair?

> " from an organization whose sole purpose for existing is to make billions off of other peoples work..."

They make their money off their own work also...which is why RIAA members employ thousands of people and spend billions annually promoting artists. In fact, they of spend so much they wind up losing money.

And before you get to feeling too sorry for RIAA-"exploited" artists, try to name a few bands who got stinking rich without the support of one of those labels. Try hard. We'll wait.

Sure a label gets most of the money froma succesful album. They also front 100% of the risk, both in production and promotion costs, which can sometimes run to tens of millions for a single album.

The fact remains that, for most bands, being able to record and produce an album for free, with zero risk, in exchange for surrendering most of the potential profits from that album is a good deal . If it tanks, the label loses big, but they don't lose a penny. If it succeeds wildly, they make millions anyway...and the subsequent fame means they make far more off concerts, appearances, and followup albums.


RE: Gangsters.
By masher2 (blog) on 2/15/2007 12:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
edit: "they of spend so much they sometimes wind up losing money..."


By KeithTalent on 2/14/2007 3:51:31 PM , Rating: 4
I pictured pantalooned men, sailing the seas, checking Google maps on their barnacled laptops every 30 seconds to ensure they were going in the right direction.

Unfortunately the actual article was not that exciting :(




i think both...
By ncage on 2/14/2007 11:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think both of them have weapons of mass destruction :). Lets bomb them :)




RE: i think both...
By Xenoid on 2/15/2007 3:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
That only works if they're muslim.


Pirates?
By EODetroit on 2/15/2007 4:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
I heard Yahoo and MSN are supporting Ninjas, so it all evens out.




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