Google could fix record label piracy concerns – at a price

November 2010

Record labels, internet

Google has offered the US record industry a new tool to help it more easily find links to infringing content that appear on the search engine – but wants to charge a fee for the tool. CNet reports that a letter sent to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), a Google executive advised that his company is making a number of new web search ‘API products’ available, one of which would be useful for content owners trying to keep track of illegal content sources appearing in Google searches and once the content owner has found an illegal source they can use the take-down system that exists under America’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act to ask Google to remove the offending content link. So it seems that a search of the site costs, but a take down is free. The cost of using the new service, Site Search, will be five dollars per 1000 queries. CNet cite a music industry source who estimated that such charges could add up to several million dollars a year and this has ‘raised eyebrows’ in the music industry.

CNet says that at a time when Google is negotiating with television, movie, and music producers for the recently launched GoogleTV and an upcoming digital music service, the company has been sending mixed messages about how much help it will provide in removing links to pirated songs from its search index.

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