Google Considers Cutting Off Revenue From Illegal Download Sites

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 18 2013 12:33 PM

Google's motto may be "Don't be evil," but some companies who rely on copyright laws for income such as the music, film, and book publishing industries, feel the search giant is betraying this motto by making it too easy for users to find pirated material. Google is very good at organizing the Internet and helping users find what they want through a simple search. According to some companies however, that's exactly the problem—Google is good at helping users find anything, including illegal downloads.

While it's true that copyright is the lifeblood of the creative industries, some people make the counter argument that the creative businesses are stuck in the past and simply need to find a way to deal with the Internet and ease of which users can share files.


credit: taylorsloan, Flickr

Google has tweaked some of its algorithms so websites that have been known to offer illegal downloads appear further down in the search results than legal alternatives. In an attempt to further combat illegal downloads, Google is in discussions with payment companies such as Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal to cut off funding to these illegal download sites. If the companies are successful in cutting off the funding to these sites, websites that offer illegal content could be driven out of business.  

If Google and the payment companies reach an agreement and succeed in blocking funding to illegal download sites, it wouldn't be the first time in history a website has been shut down by having a block put on its funding. In 2011, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal cut off all donations to WikiLeaks, a website that published classified information regarding a string of government secrets.

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Feb 18 2013 3:24 PM

Shouldn't it be left up to VISA, MasterCard and the others to figure this out? Unless of course Google is somehow required to do the exposing. PayPal as far as I'm aware is already on top of this kind of activity. I've seen many stories where various torrent sites and others of a dubious nature have had their funding cut off. A lot of sites use Flattr and similar programs to side-step the issue.

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