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Music Labels Tell Google To Remove Infringing Links

By Sean Michaels: Britain’s biggest recording industry association, the BPI, has sent a cease-and-desist order to Google (NSDQ: GOOG), asking the search engine to take down links to nine “one-click hosting” sites, each of which hosts thousands of illegal songs.

The BPI’s complaint cites 38 links “that are available via Google’s search engine, and [requests these] links be removed as soon a possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by [BPI] members”.

The links point to songs, ranging from K’Naan’s Wavin’ Flag to Michael Bublé’s Haven’t Met You Yet, plus tracks by Eminem and the cast of TV series Glee. While Google does not operate any of the infringing websites, search queries lead users to illegal downloads at sites such as MegaUpload, SendSpace and UserShare.

To bolster its case, the BPI even cites the search queries that bring up the offending links. As stated in the letter, searches for “dizzee rascal dirtee disco” and “k’naan wavin’ flag download” bring up free download sites in the first several pages of results. This search tactic is one of downloading’s worst-kept secrets; even three years ago, major blogs such as Lifehacker were explaining similar techniques.

Speaking to CNet, BPI spokesman Adam Liversage said Google is usually willing to remove links to copyrighted content. “In most cases, Google takes down the links in question, following its own internal procedures.” But although this is true of services like Blogger, where Google has deleted several music blogs, it’s not clear whether it has the same policies with its search index.

Last October, Google removed links to the Pirate Bay

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..