Google says comments by
its executive chairman were not a signal it is ready to violate content
protection laws it does not agree with.
Chairman Eric Schmidt speaking in London Wednesday, was quoted by The Guardian newspaper
as telling reporters "[i]f there is a law that requires DNS [domain name
systems, the protocol that allows users to connect to websites], to do X and
it's passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the
United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it...If it's a
request the answer is we wouldn't do it, if it's a discussion we wouldn't do
The reference is to the
PROTECT IP Act, just reintroduced on the Hill, which would give the government
more power to crack down on web sites pirating content. The bill remains a work
in progress, and Google has been working to make sure it is not an overreach.
In a blog posting headlined
"Google Says It Won't Obey Content Theft Laws?", the Motion Picture
Association of America's Michael O'Leary asked: Is Eric Schmidt really
suggesting that if Congress passes a law and President Obama signs it, Google
wouldn't follow it?"
"Of course we abide
by the law in every country we do business," said a Google spokesperson.
"We respect what the PROTECT IP Act is trying to accomplish and we're
working closely with Congress to make sure the bill targets sites dedicated to
piracy while protecting free expression and legitimate sites."