Watchdog asks US Congress to probe alleged Google copyright violation

September 27, 2007

Watchdog asks US Congress to probe alleged Google copyright violation The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a US-based nonprofit group, is urging the US Congress to investigate the alleged violation of copyright on Google’s video site, Google Video, as well as the Google-owned video-sharing site, YouTube.

The NLPC has sent a letter to Congress outlining the findings of its own investigations into the matter.

Based on a spot check conducted last summer, the NLPC released a “top 50″ list of copyrighted videos available on Google Video.

In our own investigation, quite easily found copyrighted material on Google Video.

In the letter to Congress, the NLPC stated that copyrighted films continue to proliferate on Google Video despite Google’s claim that it respects copyright holders and that it provides state-of-the-art tools to remove copyrighted material from its web properties.

“While Google faces numerous legal challenges related to the posting of copyrighted content on its video sharing websites, there is also a growing chorus who believe that evidence of Google’s seemingly indifferent attitude towards Internet video piracy has resulted in a legitimization or ‘mainstreaming’ of video piracy which will have broad and damaging implications for all intellectual property owners,” NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm said.

The NLPC criticized Google’s apparent lackluster commitment to stopping the violation of copyright on its Google Video site, saying that the number of copyrighted videos on Google’s site increased from the last time they did a spot check.

In the most recent spot check conducted during September 10 to 18, the NLPC found 300 copyrighted movies including 60 films released this year.  These films even included summer releases such as Shrek the Third, Oceans Thirteen, The Bourne Ultimatum and Knocked Up.

The NLPC further criticized Google because it has not yet implemented a video filtering technology that it had promised to roll out.

In the letter to Congress, the NLPC urged the Congress to “pay close attention to the ‘mainstreaming’ of video piracy by Internet leaders such as Google, and ensure that the intellectual property of American business is well protected.”

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