Google to testify on piracy before a House subcommittee

Google has been invited to appear before a U.S. House subcommittee which is currently investigating various websites which are accused of distributing pirated material and intellectual property (IP). On April 6 it is expected that Google's general counsel, Kent Walker, will appear at the hearing on the company's behalf.

Many trade bodies, which represent the software, game, film and music industries, have accused Google of helping to facilitate such websites for years by allowing site owners to post Google Ads on their sites; the offending admins then requesting or forcing users to click on these advertisements before a download link is available. Last month, at a Senate Hearing, congressmen put accent on Google for not turning up for a previous reception and not doing much to help the fight against piracy, one Senator even threatened to subpoena Google executives if they did not attend any future hearings.

According to the Google Terms & Conditions the company will "respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable international intellectual property law" although it seems this will be one of the first times, if not the first time, they will have actually been grilled publicly about whether their technology plays a role in Internet piracy.

Last year Google announced it would start disabling offending users accounts from its popular service, AdSense. The company claimed they would "make it easier for rightsholders to submit DMCA takedown requests for Google products" and they "...will prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete".

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