Google Chair Eric Schmidt Slams Copyright Enforcement Bills

Google executive chair Eric Schmidt has flapped down US legislation proposals that wish to enforce online copyright implementation, saying that once approved, the bills will end with Internet censorship.

The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, better known as PROTECT IP Act, is the US Senate’s legislation corollary to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US House of Representatives.

The two bills intend to fight the infringement of copyrighted material (music and videos) by suggesting that copyright bearers and law enforcement agencies be given extra powers to blacklist or shun infringing websites.

Moreover, major, if not all, search engines and payment collectors will be mandatorily obliged to freeze connections of incriminated websites.

Reuters reports that Schmidt said in a statement at the MIT Sloan School of Management that the proposals are “draconian.”

“There’s a bill that would require [internet service providers] to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked,” he added.

Schmidt’s position on the proposed solutions does not necessarily mean he is an advocate of copyright infringement, but Hollywood studios do have a lucid issue in hand, as the compounding trade of pirated movies jeopardizes their revenue and the entire industry.

Schmidt told Reuters, “Their business models are threatened by theft. We don’t endorse it. Please don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop. I hope that’s very clear.”

The former CEO of Google, who relegated his seat to company co-founder Larry Page, also urged imposing rules based on hounding payments to websites that offer pirated copies of copyrighted materials.

Google is not alone in rejecting the legislation, as AOL, Ebay, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo have already given written statements to lawmakers to oppose the bills.

Google Chair Eric Schmidt Slams Copyright Enforcement Bills - Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, PROTECT IP, SOPA

Google CEO Eric Schmidt speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2010 Conference in San Francisco. (Image: TechCrunch (CC), via Flickr)

The group of online firms said these are “serious risk” measures that will immediately affect the industry’s “innovation and job creation” and US cybersecurity.

An organization in the UK has proposed a “traffic lights” system as part of industry standards in deterring copyright infringement.

Traffic lights could help mark the difference between licensed and unlicensed content and indicate if a website is “rogue” before a user decides to click on it, Frances Lowe, Director of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at the Performing Rights Society for Music, said at a Westminster e-forum.

The traffic lights proposal did not fit well with Google, saying that it would rather collaborate with rights holders to push “good” websites.


Author: Francis Rey Balolong

A coffee junkie who spends most of his time writing about the latest news on social media and mobile technology. I would definitely consider myself a nerd (in the coolest most hipster way possible). That being said, I love technology, music, writing, and all things mobile.

Share This Post On