A group of US senators have requested that representatives from Google appear at hearings to discuss anti-piracy legislation, amid suggestions that the company's internet marketing services profit from the activity.

CNET's Greg Sandoval reports that the company had declined an invitation from Sen Patrick Leahy to appear at a committee hearing, where the firm received criticism from lawmakers and other witnesses.

The issues under discussion included the display of advertisements through Google's AdSense services on sites that are accused of facilitating the illegal sharing of films, music and games.

Sen Tom Coburn said he was disappointed that Google had failed to participate in the hearings and suggested the company could face a subpoena to compel it to attend in future.

Recently, it was reported that Google had removed certain terms that could result in links to pirated material appearing on its results pages from its Instant feature, including 'bittorrent' and 'rapidshare', although the results would still appear when performing a manual search.

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