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
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