Feeds

Labour targets Tories' Google problem

What's good for the Chocolate Factory is good for us

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Labour has chastised the Conservatives for digital economy policies - and is targeting what may be the Conservatives' closeness to Google.

In addition to calling for more innovation from the entertainment industries, shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman called for greater corporate social responsibility from Google.

"If Google and the ad agencies drain the swamp of piracy by removing their financial incentive - online advertising - then we would have a fertile environment in which paid-for content could flourish," Harman said in a speech this week.

"No-one could imagine how we would survive without Google – most of us use it hundreds of times a day. But it is because they are so effective – and trusted – that Google and other search engines should use their creative energy to help the music industry fight piracy."

Labour may be mining a promising seam. Google's close relations with No. 10 - Director of Strategy Steve Hilton is married to Rachel Whetstone, VP of communications and policy at the Chocolate Factory - has been called into question before. For example, Tory-supporting entrepreneur and former chairman of Channel 4, Luke Johnson, highlighted the Hilton-Whetstone relationship and queried whether Google's interests aligned with those of the UK. Johnson accused Google of being a parasite: sucking out revenues, and paying very little tax.

No. 10 was also the instigator of a review of the UK's IP laws. This enquiry rapidly earned the nickname of 'the Google Review', since it was introduced with a quote attributed to the Google founders by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to Cameron, the Google founders had said they could never have founded Google in the UK, because of copyright law here. There was one slight problem: the founders had never said anything of the sort, and the claim was finally traced to Google's European public policy director Richard Sargeant - who had led the lobbying for reform of copyright in Google's favour.

It appears that No.10 fell for 'carousel propaganda'. [defn.].

Harman says the Conservatives should speed up implementation of the Digital Economy Act, which has fallen into a bureaucratic coma, publishing the code of practice for ISPs and search engines, and should legislate further in the Communications Bill if no progress is made.

"There is a public policy imperative to protect rights owners. Currently rights holders feel that they are on their own, that the law is not enforced and the Intellectual Property Office is not on their side. So Government must act - gear up enforcement and tackle the fragmentation of the enforcement agencies," she said.

But when Google takes little notice of democratically-elected sovereign governments, why should it care about the opposition?

You can find the full speech here. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.