Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee “unimpressed by Google’s continued failure”

Google criticised by UK MPs for ‘failing’ to combat piracy

Google is being accused by UK MPs of failing to stop its users accessing illegal material via its search engine.

John Whittingdale MP, chair of the Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee, said that they were “unimpressed by Google’s continued failure to stop directing consumers to illegal, copyright infringing material on the flimsy excuse that some of the sites may also host some legal content.”

The committee said that attempts to stop the majority of search engines from hosting such links had been “derisorily ineffective”.

“There is no reason why Google cannot demote and ultimately remove sites hosting large amounts of illegal material from search engine results,” continued Whittingdale.

“Google and others already work with international law enforcement to block for example child porn from search results and it has provided no coherent, responsible reason why it can’t do the same for illegal, pirated content.”

The committee said that Google receives over two million notices from the BPI each month about “large scale copyright infringement” on sites that it includes in its search results, but that it has failed to deal with the issues satisfactorily.

However, Google has opposed the accusations, with Sarah Hunter, head of Google’s UK public policy, saying: “When they do tell us about finding illegal content we remove it straightaway. I think last month we removed nine million URLs from our web index.”

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