Google has moved swiftly to deny comments by its executive chairman (see below) were not a signal it is ready to violate content protection laws it does not agree with.
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said in London “if there is a law that requires DNS, to do X and it’s passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it…If it’s a request the answer is we wouldn’t do it, if it’s a discussion we wouldn’t do it.”
The reference is to the PROTECT IP Act, just reintroduced on the Hill, which would give the government more power to crack down on web sites pirating content. The bill remains a work in progress, and Google has been working to make sure it is not an overreach.
In a blog headlined “Google Says It Won’t Obey Content Theft Laws?”, the Motion Picture Association of America’s Michael O’Leary asked: “Is Eric Schmidt really suggesting that if Congress passes a law and President Obama signs it, Google wouldn’t follow it?”
“Of course we abide by the law in every country we do business,” said Google. “We respect what the PROTECT IP Act is trying to accomplish and we’re working closely with Congress to make sure the bill targets sites dedicated to piracy while protecting free expression and legitimate sites.”
Schmidt had suggested that proposed laws in the UK and US that forced ISPs to close file sharing sites amounted to a restriction of free speech.