Wednesday, 23 June 2010

BPI targets Google for linking to illegal downloads

Britain's biggest recording industry association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), has sent a cease-and-desist order to internet search giant Google asking them to remove links of illegal downloads that can be accessed through its search engine.

The letter focused on nine "one-click hosting" websites that contain copyrighted music. While Google does not operate any of the infringing websites, search queries lead users to illegal downloads at sites such as SendSpace and UserShare.

The BPI's complaint cites as many as 38 links "that are available via Google's search engine, and [requests these] links be removed as soon a possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by [BPI] members".

The BPI noted 18 examples of such infringements, including tracks by Dizzee Rascal, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Eminem. That is then followed by a list of search queries, URLs and websites where the material is hosted.

BPI said Google is usually willingly to remove links to copyrighted content. Speaking on the topic, a spokesperson for BPI said, "In most cases, Google takes down the links in question, following its own internal procedures."

Although this is true of services like Blogger, where Google has deleted several music blogs, it’s unclear whether it has the same policies with its search index.