Google Censorship Rising Faster Than Ever
Google is rapidly becoming the internet police in regards to censorship on the internet. Google has complied with nearly two-thirds of the requests for removing content between January and June, according to a recent transparency report. As compared to the previous reporting period this is an huge increase from the lowly forty percent rate.
The report said that there were 757 items to be removed by request and 92 content removal requests from government agencies and courts. The reasons for removal range from allegations of defamation, copyright, privacy, and security. In addition, there are claims that content is unlawful as hate speech and pornography.
Google is mostly protected because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This act provides Google a safe-harbor provision for Internet Service Providers from being held liable for copyright infringement. However, to comply with the act Google must take something down if they receive a take-down notice for something that has been copyrighted.
This places Google in position of being judge, jury and executioner of the law as Google must make a determination of alleged violations of copyright infringement as it pertains to complex issues governed by the Supreme Court in parody cases, such as the Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music.
In that case, Luther Campbell and others in 2 Live Crew composed a song called “Pretty Woman,” a parody of Roy Orbison's famous ballad, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The Supreme Court reasoned that the opening bass riff is the key to the song's parody, and that the musical notes are the heart of which parody takes aim.
So how is Google, an internet service business, to determine what is parody and what is not a parody in regards to copyright material, except for the fact that they are now the internet police.