Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt dealt authors and publishers a staggering and possibly fatal blow by declaring he opposed any effort to curtail Google’s right to link to piracy websites like Pirate Bay. And he said it in such unequivocal terms that any author cherishing a shred of hope for the protection of his or her rights is spitting in the wind.
Josh Halliday of The Guardian reports: “Speaking to journalists after his keynote speech at Google’s Big Tent conference in London, Schmidt said the online search giant would challenge attempts to restrict access to the Pirate Bay and other so-called “cyberlocker” sites that encourage illegal downloading – part of government plans to fight online piracy through controversial measures included in the Digital Economy Act.”
We don’t know how his speech went down, as England’s Digital Economy Act is one of the few government initiatives anywhere in the world that attempts to punish illegal filesharers. (See Brits Hit Pirates While Yanks Fiddle)
Comparing efforts to control Google links to pirate sites with repressive Chinese mind-control, Schmidt said in no uncertain terms: “If there is a law that requires DNSs [domain name systems, the protocol that allows users to connect to websites] to do X and it’s passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it,” he added. “If it’s a request the answer is we wouldn’t do it, if it’s a discussion we wouldn’t do it.”
Read Google boss: anti-piracy laws would be disaster for free speech and despair. But save your spit. This game is over.
For a complete archive of posts about piracy visit E-Reads’ Pirate Central