Google Unhappy With Ausralian’s Piracy Site-blocking Legislation
Australia is set to pass a legislation, that will see the blocking of piracy sites from access by its citizens. This move has been highly criticized by the internet giant Goggle. The legislation, when passed, will allow content providers to go to the federal court to seek for an injunction that would see the blocking of such sites.
While the news was heavily welcomed by content providers, who have for a long time been suffering at the hands of piracy sites, Google is afraid that the legislation could be used for other unintended purposes.
Google points out that there are other more favorable ways of dealing with piracy. Blocking access to such sites could also lead to blocking of Virtual Private Networks. VPNs can also be used for other legitimate Purposes like privacy and security.
Instead of infringing on the freedom of speech, Google suggests other ways that could be used to achieve similar results, without having to do that. Some of those measures are already in use in the US. This includes, experimenting with formats that will now enable ads, which would direct people to sites with legitimate content, to appear in the search results.
The ads will appear when users for example, search for keywords such as “watch movie”, “download” or “free”. Users will thus get an opportunity to get content from legitimate sites such as Netflix, Amazon and Google Play.
Google is also using a new algorithm. This will down-rank piracy sites and links for which they have received complaints. The sites will then appear at the bottom of the search results. According to Google, these measures have significantly reduced traffic going to those sites.
Another trick that the online giant has up its sleeves, is to cut of advertising from piracy sites. 73, 000 sites have already been ejected form Google’s AdSense program, thanks to Google’s proactive screens.
Google also expressed its disappointment over the Australian Government’s refusal to pursue safe harbor. Safe harbor, according to Google, would assist internet service providers in fighting piracy. Malcolm Turnbul, Australian communications minister, argued that safe harbor touches on other issues that do not necessarily have anything to do with online copyright. Google also stated that the lack of a safe harbor hampers the growth of the Australian digital economy.
The legislation is not through yet. To pass through senate, it will need labor’s vote. This could prove to be a major stumbling block for the legislation. Jason Clare, the Labor’s shadow communications spokesperson, stated that he would want the legislation to introduce a fair use provision.
Jason also wants the Australian Government to address the issue of IT pricing. This is after the IT pricing report showed major differences in prices between Australia and other parts of the world.