Feeds

Labour targets Tories' Google problem

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

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.