Google Must Do More to Help Fight U.K. Piracy, Report Finds

British prime minister David Cameron
British prime minister David Cameron
 Getty Images

LONDON – Google must do more ‎to curb online piracy and should take a leadership role in the battle against it in the U.K., an advisor of the British prime minister says in a new report.

David Cameron's intellectual property tsar Mike Weatherly in it made recommendations for how search engines, Google in particular, should help tackle piracy in the U.K., which he highlighted costs Britain's music and film industries more than $ million (£400 million) a year.

The Guardian reported that the recommendations include the blocking of advertising that supports pirate sites and the education of consumers with the help of "warning marks" that guide people to legitimate content services.

The report highlights that search giants inadvertently lead consumers to pirated content.

"Search engines can – and must – use the resources available to them in order to safeguard the U.K."s creative industries," the Guardian quoted Weatherley as saying. "Piracy remains the biggest threat to the growth of digital commerce. If we want the U.K. to continue to be a leader in creativity and innovation, the U.K. must also be an international leader of intellectual property rights protection."

In the report, he also concludes: "As the main provider of search facilities in the U.K., it is widely felt that Google should take the lead in setting responsible industry standards for search."

But he also acknowledged that no single player can solve the piracy problem, saying it was "inaccurate, unrealistic and a diversion" to focus on Google and search engines such as Microsoft's Bing ‎and Yahoo as the only solution.

A Google spokesman said that the Internet giant invests much in anti-piracy measures. "Google is committed to tackling piracy, and our action is industry-leading," he said. "We invest tens of millions of pounds in technology to tackle piracy, and last month alone we removed more than 23 million links to infringing content."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai


 

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