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Google's Schmidt: Piracy blocks harm free speech

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 24 May 2011 20:32 User comments (2)

Google's Schmidt: Piracy blocks harm free speech Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google Inc., has said proposed anti-piracy blocks on websites such as The Pirate Bay would be a disaster for free speech in Western countries.
Speaking at Google's "Big Tent" conference in London, he said the Internet giant would be prepared to fight against any laws that mandate blocking access to websites deemed to be hosting pirated content. Schmidt feels that such a move would set a disastrous precedent around the world.

"I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily implementing simple solutions to complex problems," he said.

"So, 'let's whack off the DNS'. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say 'I don't like free speech so I'll whack off all those DNSs' that country would be China."

In the UK, the Digital Economy Act mandates such piracy blocking mechanisms be put in place. "It doesn't seem right. I would be very, very careful about that stuff. If the UK government do it the wrong way it could have disastrous precedent setting in other areas," Schmidt said.

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2 user comments

124.5.2011 21:10

That's odd, and I figured Google suddenly turned pro-copyright.

225.5.2011 5:03

Originally posted by ROMaster2:
That's odd, and I figured Google suddenly turned pro-copyright.
hosting a site isn't copyright infringement, neither is linking to it but when you think about everything on the net is someones else intellectual property.

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