Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, has reiterated his stance that search engines play a significant role in introducing audiences to infringing movies and TV shows online and has urged Google to step up its fight against film piracy.
Interviewed by the Financial Times, Dodd said that in too many cases, a search would still take users to illegal sites. The MPAA backed a study released mid September which found no evidence that the change Google made to its algorithm in 2012 to take into account the number of copyright takedown notices a site has received had an impact on search-referred traffic to infringing sites. The share of referral traffic from Google to infringing sites included in the Google Transparency Report remained flat in the three months following Google’s implementation of the change August 2012.
Dodd also bemoaned the fact that anti-piracy legislation Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – which aimed to expand the ability of US law enforcement to combat online copyright infringement and online trafficking in counterfeit goods – had failed to become law, following a campaign by technology companies, Internet interests and advocacy groups. “There was a tremendous amount of misinformation. We were talking about going after foreign sites that were stealing product . . . this wasn’t about breaking the internet or freedom of speech; quite the opposite.”
Dodd described protest as “an unprecedented event politically in the country,” adding that he wanted want to get over the notion that there’s somehow legitimacy to the idea that you have to choose which side you’re on – technology or content. “It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard . . . technology needs content and content needs technology,” he declared.