Google Warned of MPAA Copyright Infringements

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

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Though the thought of Google ever getting unplugged from the Internet seems about as likely as Mark Zuckerberg getting banned from Facebook, there are reports that indicate the search engine giant is running into some copyright problems.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has apparently issued more than 100 warnings to Google regarding copyright infringement over the last few months. The warnings are mostly aimed at Google's public WI-Fi service.

The MPAA warnings are usually directed at P2P file sharing users who trade movies online, and thousands of warnings are issued each year.

But sending them to Google? That is enforcement on a whole new level.

The MPAA has negotiated with ISPs in order to have the option to disconnect copyright abusers from the Internet.

Though it is unlikely that Google would ever face a penalty as severe as losing access to the internet, the warnings sent by the MPAA nonetheless state:

"Copyright infringement also violates your ISP's terms of service and could lead to limitation or suspension of your Internet service. You should take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for illegal activities."

It will be interesting to see if the MPAA's move against Google will ultimately backfire if they fail to proceed against the behemoth company while continuing to pursue actions against smaller targets and individuals.

A senior court judge in the U.K. has expressed concerns over the likelihood of success in some online copyright infringement cases, citing difficulties in taking action based on IP addresses, which can be used by more than one person.

"Even if it is proof of infringement by somebody, merely identifying that an IP address has been involved with infringement [does not make it] clear to me that the person identified must be infringing one way or another. The fact that someone may have infringed does not mean the particular named defendant has done so," Judge Birss states.

Similar arguments could be used in the United States to counter MPAA actions.

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