Entertainment Industy Back To Demanding That Search Engines Censor The Web... Through 'Voluntary' Measures

from the if-at-first,-you-cannot-sopa,-try-try-again dept

We've pointed out before that the short-term troubles of some legacy media players appears to have more to do with their own mistakes, rather than piracy. But they just keep on lobbying for more laws (none of which have actually worked). We've also pointed out that while defeating SOPA/PIPA was a good thing, the supporters of the bill, undoubtedly, were already hard at work trying to get similar efforts through elsewhere -- however possible. TorrentFreak has news of the IFPI submitting a list of proposals for search engines on how they should run their business -- which includes all sorts of extra efforts designed to help the entertainment industry by magically making it more difficult to find infringing content. I always find the hubris of such demands odd. It's really not proper for the entertainment industry to insist that search engines need to run their businesses in any particular way. In what other business does an entire industry demand a different industry protect them from having to adapt?

The recommendations & data themselves don't make much sense. The report claims that search engines send lots of traffic to infringing sites, but we've looked at the data pretty closely and there's no support for what they claim. The data showed that search engines definitely sent some traffic to infringing sites, but it was a very small percentage of their business. It's difficult to accidentally find infringing music to download these days. I realize that the industry claims otherwise, but the methodology there is suspect. They're claiming that if you search on the names of certain songs, unauthorized sites show up relatively high in Google searches. But there isn't evidence that that necessarily leads people to click on those infringing files. As the click-through evidence we saw showed, it's a relatively small percentage of people who do that.

While the industry has some good ideas for ways to improve business, blaming the tech industry (or insisting that all of their users act like criminals) has become an all too common refrain around here. It's counterproductive. The tech industry is providing all sorts of useful tools and services for the entertainment industry to thrive. I'm still at a loss as to how blaming the tech industry helps anyone. Punishing them just makes them less willing to design the next iTunes, the next Netflix or the next Spotify.

It's time for the industry to start focusing on real business model opportunities... not whining about everyone who it feels the need to punish.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    "They're claiming that if you search on the names of certain songs, unauthorized sites show up relatively high in Google searches."

    Yeah, those filthy pirates at dajaz1.com, and every other site given promotional music, need to be shut down.

     

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      DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      That's horrible!

      But here's something even worse. When Google's googlebot visits your website to build and maintain Google's index, the googlebot makes a copy of your web pages !!!

      That's stealing!!

       

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:30am

    Everybody!!!

    It is everybody's responsibility to help our dying business model survive. Search engines, the government, blogs, everybody!

    Expect us! We don't need to take any responsibility for our own success or lack of.

     

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    crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    I think Google knows what it's doing with it's search results, but hey, maybe the mpaa knows better? If so, they are free to release their own search engine site whenever they like.

     

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    Jon, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    So, ah, if "it's really not proper for the entertainment industry to insist that search engines need to run their businesses in any particular way," why do so many folks in the tech industry think that it's proper for them to insist that the entertainment industry run its businesses in some particular way?

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:01am

      Re:

      Because the major entertainment outlets refused to adapt for nearly 60 years to technological advances, and it goes back even further if you add in complaints about the phonograph.

      The tech industry isn';t demanding that the major entertainment outlets adapt: it's consumers who spend their money on these things.

       

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re:

        Hit the nail. It is the customers that want them to change. If people are googling for your work and the pirate sites are the at the top of the search results, it shows a failing on your part.

        Entertainment Industry: I've got money. I want to be entertained. I'm willing to part ways with my money to have entertainment. However, you keep insisting that you don't want my money. I've got money burning a hole in my pocket, just dying to be spent on some movies. The first company that can offer a DRM-free-mine-to-keep high quality movie wins. I know Netflix is available. I don't watch enough movies to justify the subscription. I know Redbox is available. Good luck finding a Redbox with Toy Story 2. Chariots of Fire is right out.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This. I too am willing to pay for content. I am most happy paying for content in a way that has the most direct benefit to the content creators. Bandcamp is awesome. Formats for the data that I want, and direct support of the artist. It is beautiful. As for movies, why the hell should I have to re-purchase all of my movies because I move to a different region. What is the logic there?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hey, the first pizza place that can deliver a anchovy-free -mine-to-keep high quality pizza for less than a buck can have my money too.

          Either you want to buy the product as presented, or you buy someone else's product. Don't pirate it just because you didn't like the terms.

           

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            Beta (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is just too easy. Are you some kind of anti-troll?

             

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            Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Either you want to buy the product as presented, or you buy someone else's product. Don't pirate it just because you didn't like the terms.

            When the terms are being distorted by an anti-competitive cartel then measures need to be taken to break up the cartel.

            We KNOW there is a cartel - because otherwise the prices would reflect the marginal costs of producing copies.

             

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            Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Who said anything about pirating? They want my money, but don't seem to want to offer me anything good enough that I'm willing to pay them for. So they get none of my money. It's their loss. I still have my money and there are lots of things I am willing to spend that money on in such a way that they won't get my money. No piracy was or needs to be involved.

            Why should they change? Not because of the tech industry's demands. If they want my money then they should change because of my demands. If they don't want my money or don't want to change, then fine, they won't get my money, but that's their decision. Again, no piracy is involved.

             

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            explicit coward (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:03am

            Imagine you bought a car that was effectively produced for twothousand dollars and sold to you for twentythousand. Imagine further that each time you got into your car you had to listen to a voice lecturing you about the proper conduct in traffic - made in a way to suggest that you are considered a potential criminal. And after that you would have to listen for another ten minutes to advertisement for other cars - all this obviously unskippable. And now imagine that EVERY legally available car on this planet was built this way.

            Obviously - as you wouldn't like the terms, you wouldn't buy a car, right?

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re:

        Personally the entertainment industry ought to be happy I don't run a major search engine like Google. If I did and they made demands of me like that I'd delist/block every one of them.

        To quote a line from Captain America:

        Abraham Erskine: Do you want to kill Nazis?
        Steve Rogers: I don't want to kill anybody. I don't like bullies; I don't care where they're from.

         

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re:

        Try going back a century or so. The entertainment industry had a major hissy fit over player piano rolls in the pre WW1 era before such things became butts of jokes. None of this is new behaviour. The MO of this industry is to panic first and think about them a decade or two later.

         

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      Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      why do so many folks in the tech industry think that it's proper for them to insist that the entertainment industry run its businesses in some particular way?

      They don't.

      If the entertainment industry want to fail - well that's their choice.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      ...why do so many folks in the tech industry think that it's proper for them to insist that the entertainment industry run its businesses in some particular way?

      I don't believe that to be the case. Sure, the tech industry has suggestions for the entertainment industry to succeed, but the tech industry is by no means trying to force the entertainment industry to do anything. The opposite isn't true at all, the entertainment industry has been trying to force the tech industry to police for infringement at every turn.

       

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      DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:08am

      Re:

      Nobody is demanding the entertainment industry run its business in a particular way.

      Not any more so than anyone is demanding that dinosaurs stay out of tarpits.

      It's just a friendly suggestion.


      Oh, why does the entertainment industry demand that the tech industry run its business in a particular way?

      And finally: do you know the difference between "Google" and "the Internet"?

       

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      Machin Shin (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:11am

      Re:

      Well, it is actually quite simple. You see the tech industry it doing very well. Their current buisness methods are making them money. They can easily just continue on the path they are on. They provide the services people want and adapt to the changing desires of the population.

      The entertainment industry on the other hand is complaining that they are not making as much money as they want and telling the tech industry it must change to support them. Why should the tech industry throw away something that is working for them in order to help someone who is failing?

      It is like two restaurants running in the same town. One is doing great and the other struggling. The one doing well has been nice and suggested some changes to help save the failing restaurant. The owner of the failing restaurant though insists that instead of him changing his business the one doing well needs to change what they are doing.

       

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        tracker1 (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:28am

        Not a good analogy...

        It's like a bookstore next to a record shop... The bookstore is doing great.. they also sell and rent CDs. The record shop refuses to sell CDs because they're new-fangled and they don't like anything newer than records. They did just start selling cassettes after all (only took a decade and a half). The bookstore suggests the music store should sell CDs. The music store tells the bookstore to f*ck off, and that they shouldn't be allowed to rent, or sell CDs.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      We're *insisting* that the entertainment companies change their business model in the same sense that a counselor *insists* that a distraught suicide attempt puts down the gun. If you want to blow your brains out, Ima feel bad for you and all, but I'll still go to work the next day.

       

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      crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      They can run their business however they want. It's them trying to run the country that people take issue with.

       

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        Almost Anonymous (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        """They can run their business however they want. It's them trying to run the ̶c̶o̶u̶n̶t̶r̶y̶ world that people take issue with."""

        Sadly, unfortunately, FTFY.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      "why do so many folks in the tech industry think that it's proper for them to insist that the entertainment industry run its businesses in some particular way?"

      They can run their business however they want, if they want to fail that's their problem, so long as their business isn't predicated on government assistance (ie: copy protection laws and govt established broadcasting and cableco monopolies).

      How they choose to run their business is their business, but the moment they ask for laws that affect others is when it becomes the business of others like myself.

       

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      crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:19am

      Re:

      Or, to put it another way, it's because they keep coming crying to us saying "it's *impossible* for us to make money... Oh boo hoo, we are *so* hard done by... *no one* could get by in this harsh environment where everything we make is just *stolen*! Impossible, I tell you, there is *no way* to make money! We need to change the laws, it's the only way!

      And it gets annoying to the point that you just want to throw them a bone to get them to shut up and stop screwing the law up.

       

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        crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re:

        It's doubly annoying because we make software in the tech industry which is just as hypothetically reliant on copyright to make money as their crap is.

         

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        Atkray (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re:

        "And it gets annoying to the point that you just want to throw them a bone to get them to shut up and stop screwing the law up."

        Or do what they did to Old Yeller.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        I am always amused by the whole we can't make money because of "theft" argument, because Walmart disproves that fact. In fact, due to it's sheer size and the amount of animosity it engenders in some circles (reviling among it's detractors the hatred of those for the RIAA/MPAA) it is itself a prime target for shoplifting.

        And it suffer a quite noticeable level of shoplifting. Despite the laws against it. Despite the technologies and personnel dedicated to preventing it. And unlike the content industry once a product is actually stolen, it can no longer be sold over and over and over again (once the DVD is gone, it's gone, unlike a digital file).

        Yet Walmart still makes money. In fact, in an era where large chains like Food Lion, Kmart and Sears are announcing store closings (or going out of business) Walmart continues to flourish. So much so that in recent years they actually changed some policies and/or eliminated personnel that actually has made it easier for shoplifters in some cases.

         

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          crade (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, for one thing it isn't theft, and treating it like theft in any sort of planning (other than for propoganda purposes) would be a huge mistake.

          But the main thing is all these "tech companies" that the mafiaa claims are their "opponents" that are supposedly supporting piracy are software companies that, according to the mafiaa have no chance of succeding because piracy is guarenteed to do them in unless the mafiaa gets their free ride laws.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      The tech industry isn't the one spending millions every year on lobbying to get overly broad, badly written, innovation killing legislation written and passed at the expense of the American public.

      The Entertainment (Big Content)[I miss you Bob] industry has asked: What are we supposed to do? The tech industry answers: Have you tried approaching business differently with all these great tools we have created? Big Content starts crying, and sobbing uncontrollably about all the money they are loosing, and they don't think its fair that they should need to change anything and how all of us just need to pretend like its 1993.

       

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        DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re:

        > Big Content starts crying, and sobbing uncontrollably about
        > . . . how all of us just need to pretend like its 1993.


        Hey, 1993 might be a good year to pretend it is.

        The web didn't exist, but the Internet did. Before the web, one of the major internet applications, apart from email, ftp, and telnet was . . . ta da . . . usenet! And it wasn't even on the entertainment industry's radar.

         

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          tracker1 (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:31am

          Internet pre-web

          Hey, and BBSes were very popular, and piracy was probably even more subversive than it is today in terms of technology users of the time.

           

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      Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:51am

      Re:

      There is a clear difference in what is happening here.
      The entertainment industry is DEMANDING changes to the tech industry, mostly through harsh litigation and buying the passage of new laws. They refuse to adapt to an ever-changing marketplace but insist that everyone else must stand still.
      The tech industry, in reverse, has not DEMANDED changes to the entertainment industry. It has advised and notified that such changes would be necessary yes, in today's world, but they have not tried harsh litigation or tried to buy new laws to force the entertainment industry to suit their needs.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:56am

      Re:

      In the beginning we merely suggested how they might be better off. In return they demanded it was going to be there way, period. So we're not just suggesting anymore.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      Because one is outdated, run by by old cronies, who are unwilling to let go of their strangle hold, and embrace a new way to offer media to their customers

      and tech industries by their very nature have to embrace new ways and new tech in order to stay competitive by offerring inovation

      inovation for me in this instance, is the creation of something that offers something new or just an extremely easy way of doing "bloody hell i cant beleive i did'nt think of that" things

       

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    DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

    The search engines are automated. They do what they are programmed to do. They crawl the web for content, and they index it to make it searchable.

    Yes, they find things are are infringing.

    Here's the good news! YOU TOO can use the search engines to find infringing content. You can go after the actual infringer rather than an actual third party. Once the infringing content is removed, the link to it from the search engine will disappear -- and meanwhile, the link from the search engine is useless because it now links to nothing.


    Oh, wait. You would prefer to punish innocent third parties. You think it is another innocent third party's responsibility to protect your content. What about other search engines? Yahoo? Bing? Others you don't even know about? Oh yes, I forgot: you don't like that pesky due process thing either. And collateral damage? Who cares!

     

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      Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:33am

      Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

      Nah, they're thinking that if they get the search engines to block links they doesn't like, that nobody can find infringing content and everything will be rosy for them again.

      It's easier for them to force search engines to cut off access than it is to actually pursue the people doing the infringing. It's all because they think that without the search engines, people seeking infringing content won't have access to it anymore, which is just plain ignorant.

       

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        BeeAitch (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:31am

        Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

        "It's easier for them to force search engines to cut off access than it is to actually pursue the people doing the infringing."

        It's easier and they can get someone else to pay for it.

        Bonus!

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:32am

        Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

        "Nah, they're thinking that if they get the search engines to block links they doesn't like, that nobody can find infringing content and everything will be rosy for them again."

        That is a big fat lie. Why do you insist on perpetuating that myth?

        The idea only is that if the average consumer is presented with 10 choices in a search engine, and 9 of them are "free" because of piracy, the consumer will likely choose free unless they have some moral reason not to.

        All you guys bitch about the industry not adapting, but really, even if they cut prices in half and half again, they will still be competing against their own products for free. Why do you think things would be any different?

        "It's easier for them to force search engines to cut off access than it is to actually pursue the people doing the infringing."

        That is the failings of the law and the legal system, which is the reason things like SOPA were proposed. It just takes way too long to get illegal content taken down, there are all sorts of jurisdictional issues, all sort of anonymous issues, and so on. It took years to get enough information to take down megaupload - how many billions of pirated movies were download from there before they were done?

        "It's all because they think that without the search engines, people seeking infringing content won't have access to it anymore, which is just plain ignorant."

        It are the one being ignorant. It's not about that at all, rather it's about making it LESS available to the average consumer. Nothing more and nothing less. The rest is lies made up by people like yourself to justify piracy. How nice!

         

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          Idwal (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

          And the rational you suggest sets them on a trajectory for failure, no matter the ethics of piracy or copyright. As technology gets better, it will only become easier to copy information. That's what the tech does.

          It will never be any harder to copy than it is now. They're fighting gravity.

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

          Well, let's see. A few quick Google searches show the entire first page to be 100% legit for several new and old movies. So the argument about 9/10 being illegal is wrong.

          You say that it's about making illegal content less available. Why do that? Why not make legal content more available? It's been shown many, many, many, many times before how to do that (and it's not just about price).

          Let me give you a little bit of advice. Once you get this threw your head, you can move on. Piracy is not a problem. It's just that simple.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

            Actually, this has only happened because Google has been pushing down results of torrent sites recently as a result of industry pressure. However, if you serch for (example): cars 2 streaming or cars 2 download or cars 2 free you get nothing but torrent sites.

            You can try "free movie downloads" too.

             

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              btrussell (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

              So you would download a car 2?

               

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              Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

              Well that's just stupid. Of course you're going to find sites offering something free if you use "free" as one of the search terms. Don't be stupid. If I search for "free recipes" I promise you I would get sites offering free recipes at the top of the search. It wouldn't be much of a search engine if it didn't list hits containing the terms I searched for.

              Got any logical arguments or are you just going to spout fallacies all day?

               

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              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

              If I'm actively searching for "free" anything, you've already lost. Why don't you try giving me a reason to look for your legitimate works instead of going for a nuclear option? That way you not only get me to buy your works, you never have to worry about piracy again and you get good will. No amount of money or laws will get you those last two.

               

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              Colin, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

              Did you know if you Google "dog pictures" not a single site for cat pictures comes up? What's up with that?!

               

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          Richard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

          That is the failings of the law and the legal system, which is the reason things like SOPA were proposed. It just takes way too long to get illegal content taken down,

          Yeah it's those pesky concepts of fairness and due process when you just know instinctively which sites are infringing - and if you do de-list some innocent sites by "accident" well that doesn't matter because they were "just a sideshow" anyway.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

          Why is the entertainment industry not suing people who pirate? Why do they not recognize individual accountability?

          A big reason for the levels of piracy is that copyright is way to broad and the term is way too long. In order for law to be respected, it must be reasonable. And it is not.

           

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          Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Entertainment Industry -- here is a free clue

          "That is a big fat lie. Why do you insist on perpetuating that myth? The idea only is that if the average consumer is presented with 10 choices in a search engine, and 9 of them are "free" because of piracy, the consumer will likely choose free unless they have some moral reason not to.

          All you guys bitch about the industry not adapting, but really, even if they cut prices in half and half again, they will still be competing against their own products for free. Why do you think things would be any different?"


          A myth? I don't think so. You're creating a false dilemma to prove your point. It's not simply about cutting prices either because you can compete against it with more than just prices. It's about providing something that the peer-to-peer networks can't. People like you fail to see that and that's why you keep hitting a brick wall. You're still foolishly assuming that you can only make money if you control access to works. Instead you should be leveraging the social connections you make with those works, but you'd rather piss and moan about all the "theft" while you miss real opportunities.

          "That is the failings of the law and the legal system, which is the reason things like SOPA were proposed. It just takes way too long to get illegal content taken down, there are all sorts of jurisdictional issues, all sort of anonymous issues, and so on. It took years to get enough information to take down megaupload - how many billions of pirated movies were download from there before they were done?"

          I'll let you in on a little secret: All laws are impotent arbitrary rules that don't do a thing. Laws are a bandage thrown on a problem they couldn't effectively solve. That said, there isn't a damn law in existence that's going to uphold your foolish wet dreams of maintaining a distribution monopoly. The polls are in, the internet owns the power of distribution, the people own the internet, and there isn't a thing anyone can do to change that, nor should they. Oh, and that's a nice leading question you have there. It doesn't deserve an answer.


          "It are the one being ignorant. It's not about that at all, rather it's about making it LESS available to the average consumer. Nothing more and nothing less. The rest is lies made up by people like yourself to justify piracy. How nice!"

          Well that was barely cognitive.

          And you're sooo right. Making works less available is so much better than being more available! I'm sure the added obscurity will work wonders for the proliferation of works! /sarc

          The infograph "The Sky is Rising" makes one thing very clear. The existence of the internet has made content more abundant and more accessible, which is the whole fucking goal of copyright. Whether or not copyright industries are profitable is not the government's problem and it's not the public's problem. It's the industry's problem and they don't have one damn right to change the laws of reality because it doesn't fit their business model. The business model is wrong. They need to fix that and stop asking for legislators for protection for something they can solve without government mollycoddling. If they don't, too bad. They don't get to change the laws to suit their tiny little segment of the economy.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    "The data showed that search engines definitely sent some traffic to infringing sites, but it was a very small percentage of their business."

    How exactly do you think that people found the infringing sites to bookmark in the first place?

    That people don't use Google AFTER finding a pirate site doesn't suggest for a second that the Google SERPs didn't help them find it to start with. Nice way to play with numbers Mike, rather than addressing the real issues.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      That the bulk of people finding pirate sites is through their friends?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
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      DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      What are those real issues you talk about?

      Censorship? Due process? Asking for unreasonable or sometimes flat out impossible things? Imposing costs onto third parties to protect an industry that refuses to change?

      A search engine doesn't put things on the internet. It just finds them for you. If you got those things taken off the internet, then they wouldn't be there for the search engine to find. Also, the search engine is a tool that can help you find the infringing material.

      But you don't want to do anything yourself. You seem to think that Google should fix the problem for you -- even though they don't put up the infringing content.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        The "flat out unreasonable things" is a poor argument. Are you suggesting that Youtube is "too big to check"? That seems like a pretty unreasonable concept, legally.

        Google? They don't put things on the net. Yet, just like a phone book, they publish a list of those things. Exactly how many entries in your local phone book do you have under "dvd pirates" or "crack dealers"? I am guessing zero. So even with an entire city to index, a small phone company can still figure out not to list clearly illegal activities. Why can't Google do the same? They made, what billions of dollars last year? Don't you think they can afford to hire a few people to check and eliminate the "dvd ripz" listings and torrent sites?

         

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        •  
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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re: crack dealers

          And thankfully, my phone book algorithmically programatically and automatically updates its listing with every phone number in the city. Super cool!

          Oh... wait. The phone book is one of those "opt in" indexes... shoot.

           

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        •  
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          DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The internet and the phone book work differently.

          With the phone book, DVD Pirates would have to obtain a listed number.

          With the internet, Google (and others) come along and find you and add you to their index.

          The phone company doesn't go looking for businesses. It has an active relationship with them. And yes, fraudulent businesses have obtained phones and directory listings before.

          Why can't the entertainment industry afford to hire a few people to check for "dvd ripz" listings and torrent sites? After all, it's them that wants to find it?

          It's a slippery slope. Should Google have to hire a few people to find every single thing that anyone demands they find? Why can't google hire a few people to check for anything that hurts Jane Doe's feelings? Or anyone that looks at me funny?

           

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        •  
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          Beta (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          'Are you suggesting that Youtube is "too big to check"? That seems like a pretty unreasonable concept, legally.'

          It's not a legal concept, it's an engineering concept. And lawyers didn't build YouTube, engineers did. Stick to your last.

          "The arguments of lawyers and engineers pass through one another like angry ghosts." -- Bohm, Gladman, Brown

           

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          •  
            icon
            DannyB (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > "The arguments of lawyers and engineers pass through
            > one another like angry ghosts."

            I think you may have meant angry birds.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >Are you suggesting that Youtube is "too big to check"?

          Guess what happened when Viacom tried to check Youtube for their stuff.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      jjmsan (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:27am

      Re:

      You mean that one site has all the music the infringer could ever want? Exactly how do you tell from a search whether a site is infringing or not.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      Which just goes to show that the entertainment industry hasn't figured out how to get users to purchase or view through the copyright holders "legitimate" delivery methods. If the services offered were worth it then the industry's delivery channels would top the search results.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:45am

      Re: Numbers?! We don't need no stinking numbers!!

      Hello coward!

      Nothing lends credence to one's expressed opinion like having a registered, recognizable user name.

      Here's a short list of available user names you might try:
      NotATroll
      lobbyingrocks
      AnonCoward1337
      OpinedRemarker

      ...and many more! Be creative, go wild!

      You may even gain a fan-base/cult-following.

      Remember, you've got do what you want to do.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Remember kids, if its on "the internets", its de facto illegal

    Replace "search engines" in this article with "phone book" and would the argument make any sense? Then why do they expect it applies online and not off? Oh thats right, "the internets" are EVIL!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Netflix

    The content industry doesn't value Netflix's innovation, they are obsessed with destroying it. Their idea involves paying half of Netflix's monthly rate per movie view.

    They hate Netflix and new technology. Killing it is their goal.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    It should be noted that these are being held behind closed doors

    "At a behind-closed-doors meeting facilitated by the UK Department for Culture"

    http://search.slashdot.org/story/12/01/29/0351206/copyright-industry-calls-for-broad-sea rch-engine-controls

    an FOIA requst has released some of the demands.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    makes no difference who posts what, whether it's here or on other sites, that condemns the entertainment industries, they wont accept anything other than what they say. the biggest reason for not changing their business models, not competing with 'free', not giving customers what they ask for and are willing to pay for? i am sure it isn't/never has been about the money. i am becoming more convinced that it isn't even so much about the control. i believe now that it is simply a matter OF NOT HAVING THE GUTS TO DO ANYTHING BY THEMSELVES/FOR THEMSELVES!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    jailbait, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    If Google agrees to these terms, they'll pretty much be signing their own death warrant. When a site starts to censor and/or manipulate the information that they give, people will begin moving to other sites that don't do so.

    Another search engine will pop up (headquartered in a country outside of the US and other ACTA puppet nations) that won't censor their results.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      Another search engine will pop up (headquartered in a country outside of the US and other ACTA puppet nations) that won't censor their results.

      Or a distributed search engine that is controlled by no one and has no "headquarters" per se.

      YaCy - The Peer to Peer search Engine

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:10am

        Re: Re:

        Downloaded and installed! Thank you! By now, Google should have realised that bending over and kissing the entertainment industry's arse doesn't work: they keep demanding more, more, more. If Google comply with this, I will switch over completely to YaCy.

         

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      •  
        icon
        Hephaestus (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re:

        I find this amusing. Every thing the entertainment industry is trying to block or stop, is either already decentralized or in the process of being decentralized.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Sure, I'll voluntarily 'censor' my search results as a user.

    *Creates a firefox addon to censor all the RIAA/MPAA/Entertainment industry owned websites*

    There, problem solved! If I can't see the entertainment industries websites then I couldn't possibly pirate them! Google should take this approach whenever a copyright holder demand any search results be removed, it's double protection for them! You can't steal what you don't know exists!

     

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    •  
      icon
      Vidiot (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:04am

      Re:

      Nice solution, except for one thing: RIAA/MPAA members are certain that this Internet thingy is a flash in the pan; and that their REAL customers are buying CD's and DVD's down at Target and BestBuy. You don't need a cyberspace genie to help you find fun, wholesome entertainment... just hop in the family minivan and go browse the retailer's racks!

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      Censor all their content too. Then you can stare at your blank browser or watch horrible movies from people you would never want to know about.

      Congrats. You broke the internetwebthingie.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        techflaws.org (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Then you can stare at your blank browser or watch horrible movies from people you would never want to know about.

        Like Transformers 3?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        BigKeithO (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Why would a browser be blank? You don't honestly think that without the MPAA/RIAA that there wouldn't be anything on the internet right? Hell pretty much anything ever produced by their members and I personally wouldn't notice.

        Actually I'd welcome them disappearing completely off the internet so maybe they would stop with all the horrible laws. I actually broke down and watched a Hollywood movie with the wife last night, it was horrible. Your description of "watching horrible movies from people you would never want to know about" sounds exactly like my experience last night.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, without big content Wikipedia is fucked.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mark, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    "Punishing them just makes them less willing to design the next iTunes, the next Netflix or the next Spotify."

    Isn't that the point. They don't want anything new built unless they say so. Not that that is going to increase revenue/profits that the new tools allow, but what do those matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jailbait, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    I think it's interesting that not only does the Entertainment Industry want to penalize suspected pirate sites by having their results completely removed, BUT by asking for the following:

    prioritise websites that obtain certification as a licensed site under a recognized scheme

    ... they are asking that the rankings of their own companies be automatically improved. Essentially, they are demanding free, or at least subsidized, advertising from Google.

    Lovely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    I think the era has ended when big tech companies go along easily with RIAA/MPAA requests. The tech companies have finally figured out how the public feels about censorship and it seems to have given them some backbone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Robert Shaver, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Why don't we ...

    Why don't we put together a set of proposals for how they should run THEIR business? It should have about the same weight and could be quite entertaining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      BigKeithO (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

      Re: Why don't we ...

      1. Put entire catalog of works online.
      2. Make said works available for steaming in high quality.
      3. Charge Netflix-ish levels for access to said works.
      4. ???
      5. Profit!!

      Seems simple doesn't it? I would also allow substituting step 1 with "license entire catalog to Netflix for reasonable rates."

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    "They're claiming that if you search on the names of certain songs, unauthorized sites show up relatively high in Google searches. But there isn't evidence that that necessarily leads people to click on those infringing files. As the click-through evidence we saw showed, it's a relatively small percentage of people who do that."

    They are also either ignorant to or purposely ignoring the fact that a tons of the returns are fake. Searching "song name torrent" is a great way to get your self a virus or a clip of a 80s era foreign porno.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Lesath (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Just when you think the entertainment industry finally gets it, they come out with something ridiculous like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:50am

      Re:

      What made you think the entertainment industry gets it?

      They get nothing.

      They realize the defeat SOPA got. But they still don't understand it. They think it's Google. They don't understand that about a Billion people with a B are pissed off at them.

      They really don't understand the magnitude of it. It reminds me of Swartzkopf's comments about Saddam's generals after the first gulf war. He said they really didn't even comprehend the magnitude of their defeat.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    How is Google supposed to know what content is infringing?

    So the Googlebot crawls the web. It indexes it. How is Google (or its robots) supposed to know whether that content is what it purports to be, and whether it is infringing?

    As documented numerous times on TechDirt, even the entertainment industry cannot seem to tell what content is infringing, and what content they uploaded themselves for their own promotional reasons. So how exactly is Google supposed to tell?

    Is Google supposed to use a Blacklist of things not to index?

    Or maybe Google is supposed to use a Whitelist of things approved for global consumption by the entertainment industry?

    Even if the Whiltelist or Blacklist approach were a reasonable request (which it is not) then who is supposed to maintain that list? And how? Is the entertainment industry going to hire a million people at minimum wage (what's that about $7.25 Million / hour?) to filter the internet?

    Will they really keep the Blacklist / Whitelist up to date? Or will they just sit back and think everything is now fine, even as the world moves on and the internet content continues to change at a massive rate?

    If the entertainment industry doesn't like the whitelist / blacklist approach, then exactly how do they propose that Google knows what content is actually infringing?

     

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  •  
    icon
    Makoto (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Voluntary?

    So if I understand the premise of this request, then unless they've got a court order and lots of evidence backing their requests up, I don't have to pay attention to their demands, right?

     

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  •  
    icon
    Zane Stuart (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Stop whining? What? Admit they're too stupid or arrogant to change their business model to keep up with technology and consumer demand? Apostasy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Why should they think this will work, is beyond me. I know of sites, as many do, that deny Google web crawlers, along with all the rest of them. Simply they don't turn up in searches to begin with so you're not going to get results and hits.

    Those places don't rely on Google or any search engine for traffic. The only ones this prevent from finding the material they seek are the clueless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    A solution

    Voluntarily censor result pertaining to RIAA and MPAA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    A solution

    Voluntarily censor result pertaining to RIAA and MPAA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    It's time for the industry to start focusing on real business model opportunities... not whining about everyone who it feels the need to punish.

    Big content has never ever focused on the next big thing, it has always focused on it's current biz model.

    Big content always has to be forced into the next biz model.

    They will never change, they will never adapt, it is the way they are, it is the way they have been.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Conscientiouspirate (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Good idea

    This sounds like a good idea. Whenever I want to watch a movie, I always search for "Illegal pirate torrent site", and if that has no results I go rent a VHS cassette. But for years now, there has been loads of search results, so Google is kind of forcing me to be a pirate.

    I like the 6th search result best, it's a list of all the top torrent sites, file-hosting sites, streaming sites, linking sites and much more. It's a bit verbose, using pirate jargon like "Special 301 out of cycle review of notorious markets" instead of a simple "top lists", but you'll get used to it.

    Anyway, the list is made by a pirate group called "MPAA", those should be censored or have their tubes taken away, the facilitating bastards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Hans, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:32pm

    Unsubstatiated Claims

    From their proposal:

    "The growth of the UK digital economy is presently held back by the pervasive nature of online infringement of copyright, particularly for digital entertainment content."

    [Citation needed]

    "Innovation in new digital content services is hampered by the fact that such sites have to compete against large numbers of unlicensed, free competitors, some of which have become well-known brands themselves while continuing to evade the law."

    [Citation needed]

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" -- Carl Sagan

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:00am

    TorrentFreak has news of the IFPI submitting a list of proposals for search engines on how they should run their business --

    Wow!! Just like CwF + RtB?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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