According to information revealed on TorrentFreak, The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), two organisations that represent the music industry, are considering taking legal action against Google.
The organisations feel that Google is abusing its dominant market position and want Google to degrade links to websites that feature ‘pirated’ materials and generally improve their position on anti-piracy.
The TorrentFreak article claims that the music industry has already sought legal advice and if Google do not comply with their demands and change the way the search engine ranks links then a dramatic lawsuit could be on the way.
Though it well known that the music industry has been unhappy with Google for some time, believe that it, and other search engines do not do enough to help protect copyrighted works, this latest announcement is likely to send shockwaves across the net.
The information came to TorrentFreak via a leaked letter that has been finding its way around the offices of music industry executives, stating that they are considering legal action, if their demands to censor links to ‘pirate’ websites are not met.
According to TorrentFreak, the leaked document states,
“Google continues to fail to prioritize legal music sites over illegal sites in search results, claiming that its algorithm for search results is based on the relevance of sites to consumers…With a view to addressing this failure, IFPI obtained a highly confidential and preliminary legal opinion in July 2011 on the possibility of bringing a competition law complaint against Google for abuse of its dominant position, given the distortion of the market for legitimate online music that is likely to result from Google’s prioritizing of illegal sites.”
If a lawsuit is brought against Google, it is likely to be unlike anything we have seen before, and could lead to a dramatic change in the way we use the internet.
My brother and the majority of my friends are musicians. I will not use pirate sites, because I feel like I am taking money out of their pockets. So I guess I can see where the music industry representatives are coming from on this one. However, the music industry does need to change and embrace the technological age, they are guilty of a lot of things too, for one I don’t like to see them ripping off their artists the way we often hear that they do, but if they are attempting to deal with musician’s work being pirated, then I suppose they’ve got a point.
How do you feel about this possible lawsuit? Do you think the music industry has the right to demand search engines de-rank pirate websites or should file sharing be allowed?