Well, that didn’t take long. The publication of Google’s ‘How Google Fights Piracy’ report has already drawn critical responses from British music body the BPI and global body the IFPI.
“This report looks a lot like ‘greenwash’. Although we welcome the measures Google has taken so far, it is still one of the key enablers of piracy on the planet,” said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor, who has regularly criticised Google and YouTube in recent years.
“Google has the resources and the tech expertise to do much more to get rid of the illegal content on its services. If Google is sincere about fostering creativity online, it will now commit to implement new measures that will effectively protect artists from sites and apps that rip off their work, and help more fans get their content legally.”
Meanwhile, IFPI CEO Frances Moore expressed similar sentiments in her statement in response to Google’s report.
“Google has the capability and resources to do much more to tackle the vast amount of music that is being made available and accessed without permission on its platforms,” said Moore.
She criticised Google’s claim that the Content ID system on YouTube is working well for tackling infringing uploads, as well as generating 50% of music rightsholders’ YouTube revenues.
“Our member record companies’ experience demonstrates that Google’s Content ID tool is ineffective in preventing infringing content appearing on YouTube. Record companies and publishers estimate that Content ID fails to identify 20-40% of their recordings,” said Moore.
Meanwhile, Google’s claims that its search engine fuels legal services rather than piracy sites is given short shrift by the IFPI boss.
“Google’s search engine continues to direct internet users to unlicensed music on a large scale. Well over 300 million de-list notices have been sent to Google by IFPI national groups worldwide,” said Moore.
“Despite this, the amount of traffic to infringing sites from typical music search queries sent to Google is now higher than it was before Google changed its search algorithm to supposedly address levels of piracy. Google can, and must, do more to tackle these issues and return fair value to rightsholders”
We will update this story as more reaction comes in from music rightsholders and industry bodies throughout the day.