Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google’s Susan Wojcicki Responds to Ari Emanuel on Copyright Filtering

Sometimes the juxtapositions at D allow for companies on opposite sides of an argument to talk to each other in public.

On the stage last night, Ari Emanuel repeatedly called on Google to help filter copyrighted material, speaking on behalf of the greater Hollywood cause from his role as co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Agency.

Emanuel said he didn’t see why Google couldn’t filter for piracy, given that it filters for child pornography. He charged that Google — and the rest of Northern California — are unwilling to come to the table to negotiate a better alternative to SOPA.

“I think he was misinformed, very misinformed,” Google’s Susan Wojcicki responded today onstage. “We do not want to be building a business based on piracy.”

As compared to child porn, which people can generally recognize on sight, Wojcicki said, “When I see content, I don’t know if you own the copyright.”

Wojcicki, who leads advertising at Google, said Google has spent $30 million building its Content ID system, which checks YouTube content for copyright claims. And Google takes down more than one million URLs per month.

She rejected Emanuel’s suggestion that Google was unwilling to “come to the table,” given that Emanuel noted his team is working on multiple channels on YouTube for stars like Tyler Perry.

“This is not a technical problem, this is much more of a business issue,” Wojcicki argued. Even the lawyers associated with a single piece of content can’t agree who owns it, she said.

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One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue. The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.

— Gabe Newell, co-founder of videogame company Valve, which publishes Portal and Half-Life