Google fights piracy… except its own?

The new search algorithm seems exceedingly kind toward YouTube

Google will forever be judged against its mission and its motto.

Must I repeat them? Okay, then. Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google’s motto is “don’t be evil.” Like Charles Foster Kane’s “Declaration of Principles” when he took over the Inquirer in Citizen Kane, these lofty statements were proudly and publicly made by a young, idealistic company that wanted to police its future self against the corrupting influence of success. Today, Google wants to police you, instead.

Google just announced it will begin downgrading known piracy sites in its search results. Soon, when you search for “watch Breaking Bad online,” you will be directed to AMC’s official Breaking Bad site, not to one of the many illicit streaming sites or torrent trackers that host or connect to pirated files. The idea, says Google, is to “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily.” Sounds reasonable, right?

Not necessarily. In Canada, there is no legitimate source for watching Breaking Bad online. So if you type ”watch Breaking Bad online,” the most relevant search result certainly isn’t AMCtv.com. Whether you want to view pirated files or not is up to you and your moral code. Google’s supposed role is merely to find you what you are searching for, to organize and make accessible the information you seek. In re-organizing this information to favour the interests of a private company over the interests of its users, in making the most useful information the least accessible information, Google is betraying its mission.

CORRECTION: Netflix Canada does stream old seasons of Breaking Bad. Thx @adr

So what about the do-no-evil corporation’s own morals?

Google told Forbes the new piracy-fighting algorithm won’t crack down on “popular user-generated content sites.” And what is perhaps the web’s most popular user-generated content site? Youtube, which also hosts a ton of pirated content, (including much of Citizen Kane). And Google, as it happens, owns YouTube.

Now we just need to find out if Sergey Brin ever owned a sled…

Follow Jesse on Twitter @JesseBrown




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Google fights piracy… except its own?

  1. “Don’t Be Evil” is more a motto for people using Google services as opposed for google itself. “Do What I Say Not What I Do”

  2. I have no problem with it as i only watch movie from cinema or official site. Youtube do allow uploaded to upload full season of tv series. U just need to dig deeper to get what u looking for ;)

  3. As illegal software becomes easier to find for the pirates, mainly through the power of word of mouth, it’ll become harder for the corps to find and shut ‘em down. Hundred bucks says the corps will covince Google to backtrack on their plan.

  4. If Microsoft were determined to make Bing competitive, they’d loudly proclaim that it won’t take this step.

  5. Youtube is filled with pirated stuff. I can’t see how they could remove it all because most of it makes money from adverts.

  6. Hint: Don’t be evil.
    You seem to have forgotten that in your constant defense of piracy, Jesse. Downgrading content published against the wishes of the creator falls under their motto.

    Not eliminating it entirely falls under their mission.

  7. The author writes, “Google’s supposed role is merely to find you what you are searching for…. In
    re-organizing this information to favour the interests of a private
    company over the interests of its users, in making the most useful
    information the least accessible information, Google is betraying its
    mission.” Do you really believe Google’s mission includes helping its users commit crimes or engage in morally wrongful behavior theft of intellectual property is indeed, morally and not just legally, theft)? One cannot morally wash one’s hands of knowingly being an accessory to wrongful behavior–otherwise pushers of dangerous drugs could legitimately claim they were just lending a helping hand: “Whether you want to [shoot-up spiked heroin] [view pirated files] [rape children] is up to you and your moral code.”

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