Google is in trouble. Big Content has reacted badly to Eric Schmidt’s comments in the UK about ignoring government demands to block file sharing websites.
Schmidt said Google would fight against such laws being looked at in the US and UK, which he thought would bring in Chinese style censorship.
O’Leary said that he had heard this “the law does not apply to me” sort of comment before, but it came from content theives and Google should know better.
The RIAA spat that a head of a multi-billion dollar leading American company is openly suggesting defying the will of Congress and its President. After all, these are people who the RIAA has bought, er, enabled to be elected, er, lobbied.
The spokesman said that Schmidt’s comment contradicted the testimony of Google’s General Counsel that the company takes copyright theft seriously and is willing to step up to the plate in a cooperative and serious way.
The Copyright Alliance said Google was trying to scare off officials eager to defend American creativity and American jobs. Schmidt’s remarks were corporate imperialism.
Actually, Big Content has been dying to get its teeth into Google for a long time.
There have been talks that it would attempt to sue the outfit for providing links to illegal torrents, although this has never quite happened.
To be fair to Schmidt he never said he would ignore the law, just that Google will fight it.
A Google spinner said that while it did respect what the PROTECT IP Act was trying to accomplish, it was working closely with Congress to make sure the bill targets sites dedicated to piracy while protecting free expression and legitimate sites.
However, that is not good enough for Big Content, which is trying to put itself up as the champion of law against the anarchic Google.
In the end it will come down to who has the best lobby drinks cabinent in Washington, Big Content or Google.
Google could find that Big Content has arranged for an anti-trust hearing or two.