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Google hits back at News Corp piracy jibes

September 26, 2014

By Colin Mann

Google has responded to News Corp’s open letter to the European competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia in which News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson branded the company a “platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks”.

Writing for Google’s Europe Blog, Rachel Whetstone, SVP Global Communications, offers the company’s views on the Internet and society in a ‘Dear Rupert’ open letter of its own.

“Last week, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp sent an open letter to the European Commission complaining about Google. We wanted to share our perspective so you can judge the arguments on their merits,” writes Whetstone, setting out a detailed rebuttal of points made in Thomson’s letter.

In response to News Corp’s piracy assertion, Whetstone contends that Google has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy.

  • Search: In 2013 we removed 222 million web pages from Google Search due to copyright infringement. The average take-down time is now just six hours. And we downgrade websites that regularly violate copyright in our search rankings.

  • Video: We’ve invested tens of millions of dollars in innovative technology — called ContentID — to tackle piracy on YouTube.

She says that Google is also an industry leader in combating child sexual abuse imagery online. “We use hashing technology to remove illegal imagery from all our products and from the search index. We have safe modes for both Search and YouTube that filter out inappropriate content. And we are committed to protecting our users’ security. It’s why we remove malware from our search results and other products, and protect more than 1 billion users every day from phishing and malware with our Safe Browsing warnings.”

Categories: Articles, Content, Piracy, Rights