Google Co-Founder Rips Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy Push, Warns of Threats to Open Internet

Apr 16, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The entertainment industry is shooting itself in the foot with its current push to pass anti-piracy legislation, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, TheWrap.com reports.

In an interview with the U.K.’s The Guardian, Brin likened the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act — measures that some of the key players in Hollywood have been pushing — to the censorship approaches used in China and Iran, the story reports.

The piece notes: “The entertainment industry, he said, is failing to understand that users will continue to download pirated content as long as it is easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material.”

Said Brin: "I haven’t tried it for many years but when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like, it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work — and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy."

TheWrap reports: “Brin’s criticism of Hollywood was part of an alarming portrait he painted of the current Internet landscape. He said that the principles of openness and universal access that fostered the creation of the Internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever.”

Brin cited "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world. I am more worried than I have been in the past … it’s scary," the story reports.

The report adds: “He said the threat came from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access by their citizens, the entertainment industry attempting to crack down on piracy and the rise of Facebook and Apple, which he said tightly control software on their platforms.

“He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the Internet for long but he had been proven wrong.”

Brin said China, Saudi Arabia and Iran are the greatest threats, adding: "I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle."

2 Comments

  1. There is much correct in what Mr Brin says about threats to the internet, particularly in regards to government and corporate intrusions.
    However, criticizing Apple and Facebook is like a nosy, neighborhood gossip complaining they don’t know about everything about what’s in people’s homes because everyone has locked doors.

  2. Yes, you have to “jump through all these hoops” like find a merchant and, you know, pay to legitimately view content.
    If Brin feels so strongly about Internet “openness” perhaps he should open source Google’s code for their search engine, apps and Google+ so that it can be downloaded and used by anyone that chooses to do so completely for free.
    Didn’t think so.

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