Some rather inflammatory news has been making its way around the web today: a user posting on the Pirateweb message board has accused Google of removing copyrighted MP3 music files from a Gmail account — possibly using the scanning services that Google employs to block illegal content on YouTube, possibly using something else.
Shocking if true, so we went to Google to get a response. And the short answer is: no. Or not, at least, just like that.
But a spokesperson from Google has come back to us with a denial that it is doing anything of this kind.
However — and this might be a worry for some who store all kinds of things in Gmail — he also left open the possibility that Google could do something like this “in extreme cases,” for example, in response to court orders.
“We do not go into or interfere with user’s Gmail accounts, except in extreme cases, such as in response to court orders. Emails, data and files contained in Gmail are users’ private information.”
But before you read too much into that, it’s worth noting that the Content ID service used by Google on YouTube for copyrighted material is only used on that product, not Gmail or any other Google service.
The original note raising the issue was published last week. The user, one Honey Escreveu, said that a folder she kept in her Gmail account, which contained MP3 files for copyrighted music, suddenly got deleted. It’s not clear whether those were legally-owned files or not. The only two MP3s that remained in her Gmail, apparently, were for “unsigned indy artists” who are not on YouTube.
So, the jury is still out on whether Honey got the wrong end of the stick, is a hoax, or really has seen the phantom disappearance of her files. If the latter, we are still none the wiser about where the music has gone.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
YouTube provides a platform for you to create, connect and discover the world’s videos. The company recently redesigned the site around its hundreds of millions of channels. Partners from major movie studios, record labels, web original creators, viral stars, and millions more all have channels on YouTube. YouTube is predominantly an ad-supported platform, but also offers rental options for a growing number of movie titles. YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who...