Earlier this year Google launched a piracy blacklist and began filtering keywords from its Instant and Autocomplete services. A necessary measure to counter online copyright infringement according to the search giant, but not everyone agrees. To partially undo Google’s censorship efforts, the “MAFIAA Fire” team has now released the “Gee! No evil!” Firefox add-on.
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Earlier this year Google started censoring various ‘piracy-related’ keywords from its Instant and Autocomplete services, and this list of forbidden words was updated recently. Although Google understand that there is no silver bullet that can stop online copyright infringement, the search giant told TorrentFreak that the steps they’ve taken could help to decrease piracy.
During a speech on Wednesday, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that proposals from both the U.S. and British governments to block access to file-sharing websites would threaten freedom of speech. Google, he said, is opposed to such measures and will fight them, presumably in court, if necessary.
Last year the BitTorrent search engine isoHunt filed an appeal in their case with the MPAA. With the appeal isoHunt hopes to overturn a District Court ruling that obligates the site to operate an MPAA-approved censorship filter. The case is still ongoing and the Appeal Court has now granted Google the opportunity to chime in as well, leading to critical comments from both the MPAA and isoHunt.
Google has removed the homepage of Rojadirecta.es, the alternate domain of the sports streaming site that had its .com domain seized by the US authorities earlier this year. Google’s decision will be welcomed by Major League Baseball (MLB) who sent the complaint, but those who look closely will see that the removal is the result of several misunderstandings and mistakes.
Google has won its court case against Viacom, where it was facing a $1 billion claim for allowing users to upload copyrighted clips to YouTube. The landmark case is expected to have a major impact on future cases dealing with the responsibilities of the operators of user-generated media libraries, including BitTorrent sites.
A recent copyright takedown notice from the UK’s BPI revealed that the music group has been demanding that Google take down links not just to precise URLs where music is hosted on cyberlockers, but rather more generally referencing the entire site. Now it appears that IFPI, the BPI’s big brother, is trying a similar strategy, this time with The Pirate Bay.
Google has threatened to shut down Trackhub, a free service that provides a BitTorrent tracker fail-safe on Google’s App Engine platform. The search giant claims it has received numerous complaints about the service, but seems to be clueless about what it’s actually doing.
BitTorrent is undoubtedly the most efficient way to share large files on the Internet. The key to BitTorrent’s widespread adoption can nevertheless not be exclusively attributed to its technical superiority. Much of BitTorrent’s success lies in the fact that it is web-based, easy to monetize and indexed by Google.
Following a DMCA takedown request from Fox regarding an Avatar torrent, Google has removed the BTJunkie homepage from its search results. A few months ago Google erroneously banned The Pirate Bay homepage for which it later apologized. Whether or not the BTJunkie ban is also a mistake is unclear.