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Google to Testify on Piracy Before U.S. House Subcommittee on April 6, 2011

Google’s antipiracy efforts are likely to come under scrutiny during a congressional hearing scheduled for next week in Washington, as the company has been invited to appear before a U.S. House subcommittee which’s currently investigating various websites which are accused of distributing pirated material and intellectual property (IP).

Google has accepted an invitation to appear April 6 before a U.S. House subcommittee investigating Web sites accused of distributing pirated intellectual property.

Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, is expected to appear at the hearing on the company’s behalf. He should be prepared for a grilling. If members of the subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, are anything like the Senate committee conducting a similar review, they will be tough on Google.

At the House hearing next week, Google will likely note that in December the search engine announced it would start booting alleged copyright violators off AdSense, the company’s successful advertising program. Google said it would try to block terms associated with piracy from appearing in the search engine’s Autocomplete function. The company has provided software tools to copyright owners to identify infringing content, in some cases it has offered this free of charge.

Committee members may hear that Google has many partnerships with content creators, and has licensed feature films, TV shows, and music for YouTube. It has created software filters that can pull down content and keep it off the video-sharing site. Some entertainment companies say privately that Google hasn’t made good on all its promises.


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