Recording industry: Google's anti-piracy effort failing

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The RIAA chief’s remarks came just a few hours after the Motion Picture Association of America released a study that claims search engines are serving as “gateways” for people to find pirated content, sometimes inadvertently.

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) defended Google, noting that it has taken steps to curb online piracy by demoting pages that receive takedown notices for copyright infringement.

Sherman acknowledged that Google has taken positive steps, but said at “six months, a year later, we’ve seen basically no difference whatsoever” because the pirated sites remain high in search results. 

Lawmakers could encourage voluntary agreements by threatening legislation, Sherman said.

“Hopefully it won’t be necessary, but it does help,” he said.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) said he is not optimistic that voluntary agreements alone can solve the problem of online piracy. Congress might have to get involved, he said.