Piracy is a big problem and Google acknowledges that, but believes that pricing and availability issues are really to blame. In a recent discussion with the Australian government, the tech giant urges against draconian laws as a way to tackle the problem within the country.
In fact, the tech giant has started attacking laws that are already in place. One of those is on the takedown of “illegal” websites. The internet giant does not believe that there are enough safeguards within the wording, which is taken broadly by a number of regulatory bodies. This impacts the availability of information for free as innocent websites are attacked by being blocked.
Google used examples from around the world to show how the anti-piracy laws are just not working. Just recently, The Netherlands made a U-turn on the decision to block Pirate Bay, the popular BitTorrent website used by those looking for bootleg copies of movies, TV shows and movies.
Holland was one of the first countries to implement a ban on the peer-to-peer lending site, Pirate Bay. After the ban, a number of other countries followed suit, and since then various other websites have also been caught out. However, it is not the websites that have faced the legal action. The courts have attacked the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The Australian government sees that the innocent parties are the ones being punished, instead of those pirating through the websites. George Brandis, Attorney-General for Australia, has recommended a three-strike policy, which was something suggested in the UK a few years ago. However, it goes against Google’s recommendation, which believes that pricing and availability issues are to blame for piracy.
Brandis wants pirates to get two warnings that their internet will be shut off should they continue to download illegally. The aim is that the ISPs will start working with the government to crack down on internet piracy. It is something similar to the United States’ “six strike” system that was introduced by Hollywood. However, this is not legally enforceable on the ISPs.
Brandis would also like to see the ban imposed on the sharing websites by the ISPs, despite the Dutch making the U-turn on the decision.
Google does not recommend any of this. It would like to see downloads being available from a free marketplace legally. This would help to solve the problem of users illegally downloading music and movies because the real copies are cost-prohibitive. The tech giant would at least like the Australian government to consider evidence of how the draconian measures have been implemented around the world.
That does not mean that sites should not be taken down. The search engine giant argues that there should be more transparency when this is to happen. Safeguards need to be in place to help prevent the impact that taking down various websites will have on the availability of information. It calls for the Australian government to be more innovative with its anti-piracy laws to deal with the problem of pricing and availability, which Google believes are to blame for piracy.
By Alexandria Ingham