It's no secret that the net is a multi-headed hydra of piracy. When a video gets taken down place, it often pops up somewhere else. P2P applications, torrenting, and news groups have long served up copyrighted content to those in the know. Sometimes DMCA notices are respected, other times companies get sued into oblivion (e.g Napster).
However, new web sites are making it even easier for anyone who can click a mouse to access copyrighted content across the net. You no longer need to know your way around IRC or understand what a .torrent file is. Instead you can just stream them over any number of social video sites we've talked about before.
Piracy is going mainstream and the National Legal and Policy Center is pointing the finger at Google for facilitating it. Today they released a study outlining Google's role in helping piracy. It's nothing new for Google, which was slapped with a $1 billion lawsuit by Viacom over YouTube. YouTube has since implemented so-so anti-piracy protection through AudibleMagic.
The big difference here is that Google doesn't always host the content users find, they only facilitate finding it. Copyright holders have already gone after ISPs, so it's not a stretch to think they'd go after search engines as well. Google has received wide criticism over their self imposed censorship in China. Will censorship come to US search results because of copyright infringement?
The study highlighted 50 movies/programs that Google is helping pirate through their video search engine. The full list is here, but I've included a sample of the top 10 with links to the ones I could find below:
|Production Company||Program/Movie||Status||Type||Days Posted||Year||Views|
|Warner Brothers||Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire (Part I)*||Up||Movie||434||2005||165,367|
|Hollwood Pictures||Stay Alive||Up||Movie||284||2006||443,577|
|Universal||Miami Vice (French dub)||Up||Movie||276||2006||663|
|Miramax||Jet Li – Twin Warriors||Up||Movie||275||1993||425,107|
|HBO||Ali G, Season 1||Up||Episode 2||256||2003||126,922|
|HBO||Ali G, Season 1||Up||Episode 3||256||2003||34,527|
|HBO||Ali G, Season 2||Up||Episode 11||256||2004||19,911|