RIAA Whines That Google Won't Let It Program Google's Search Algorithm
from the it-must-be-easy-when-you-see-the-world-that-way dept
There’s been some discussion about the RIAA’s ridiculous report card on Google’s “progress” in dealing with infringement. Remember, a year ago, Google promised to take steps to appease the RIAA, even though it wasn’t required to under the law. Both Ars Technica and TorrentFreak have good coverage of the ridiculousness of the report card, but I wanted to dive into a few of the specific claims, which just seem laughable. Let’s start with the really ridiculous claim that Google isn’t doing enough to remove search terms from “autocomplete.” As we noted at the time of Google’s announcement, this seemed silly and pointless. How would you figure out what words to choose? For example, 10 years ago, the industry would be upset about mp3 — but now everyone sells unencrypted mp3s. And, indeed, the RIAA seems to believe that certain words that aren’t illegal should be associated with infringement:
Autocomplete still suggests terms associated with piracy when a user is searching for a piece of music or a movie. For example, when ?lady gaga mp3? is typed into the search bar, autocomplete directs a user to choose ?lady gaga mp3 free? or ?lady gaga mp3 download,?
Now that’s interesting. I didn’t realize that “free” and “download” were illegal terms. Especially since Lady Gaga and her manager have both expressed interest in giving away her music for free. It seems that the RIAA’s real complaint is that the end result of the searches still points people to some sites that offer infringing works. But that’s a totally different complaint. Google could censor the words “free” and “download” and within hours people involved in infringement would come up with alternative words.
The RIAA then goes totally off the rails, insisting that Google needs to pre-screen every mobile app for Android. Sure, Apple does this, but it’s why there are so many complaints from iPhone developers. The whole point of Google’s more open system is to allow more open innovation. We recognize that anything “open” is horrific to RIAA-types, but for those of us who recognize how innovation works, we’d prefer that Google continue to allow such innovation, rather than putting up a big wall just because the RIAA is too clueless to adapt. It’s ridiculously presumptive for the RIAA to presume that it has the right to dictate a big part of Google’s setup just to please the RIAA.
Finally, the RIAA whines that Google won’t listen to its own suggestions for how Google’s algorithm should work.
We don?t understand why Google can?t take delisting notices for a site into account in determining rankings if it uses this information in its other copyright policy activities.
Funny, but I also don’t think that the RIAA listens to Google’s suggestions on how their labels should sign bands. Why should the RIAA get to determine how Google’s algorithm should work?
In the end, this whole thing is a ridiculously obnoxious attempt by the RIAA to pretend that Google “isn’t doing enough” when the company already goes significantly beyond what is required under the law (and now generates significant income for the RIAA’s labels through things like YouTube’s monetization scheme).