When he’s not on the road touring, Lowery is teaching students at the University of Georgia about the business of the music industry.
He is a vocal critic of that industry, and particularly how technology – from illegal downloading to new streaming services – has made it harder for artists to keep control of their work and to earn a living from it.
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Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is pressing Google to take greater measures to tackle online piracy and other illegal Web activity, saying that the company’s “inaction” is “not merely a failure to do the right thing” but “raises serious questions as to whether Google is engaged in unlawful conduct itself.”
Hood accused Google of being “unwilling to take basic actions to make the Internet safe from unlawful and predatory conduct, and it has refused to modify its own behavior that facilitates and profits from unlawful conduct.” His letter cites not just piracy of movies, TV shows and music but the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and sex trafficking.
He also pointed out several instances in which Google has screened out criminal content, like child pornography. Nazi-related content, he noted, was removed from search results in Germany, and spam and malware are blocked because they can be damaging to users.
“Google can and does take action against unlawful or offensive conduct — when Google determines it is in its business interests to do so,” Hood wrote.
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With the closure of Hotfile, questions are raised about what this means for content creators and the cyberlocker industry. Here are a few likely outcomes.
The judge in the case also ordered Hotfile that, if it wishes to remain open, it has to use “digital fingerprinting” to filter out infringing works. However, Hotfile, either unable or unwilling to comply with that request, has decided to shut down its site, effective immediately.
Hotfile’s closure is easily the biggest case of a cyberlocker being forced offline through legal action since Megaupload in January 2012. However, with nearly two years passed since Megaupload’s shuttering, the Web, especially for illegal downloads, is already a very different place.
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Posted in Ad Sponsored Piracy, Artists Rights Watch, Copyright Policy
- Tagged Closed, Filtering, Hotfile, Illegal, infrignement, Loser, Lost, piracy, Plagiarism Today, Shutdown, Victory
Just like groundhog’s day for Google… Here we go… Again…
“On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description, and infringing copies of movies, music, software and games,” said Attorney General Hood. “This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior.”
If reading this triggers a sense of deja vu, don’t worry– you’re not crazy. Less than 2 years ago, in August of 2011, Google agreed to a 500 million dollar settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over online advertisements for illegal Canadian pharmacies.
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Posted in Ad Sponsored Piracy, Artist Rights, Copyright
- Tagged advertising, AG Hood, Drugs, Fines, google, Illegal, Pharmacy, piracy, Settlement, Vox Indie