Google Play under fire from UK record industry

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A brand new service from Google has come under fire from a leading record industry body.

Google launched its new Google Play service this week, to compete with iTunes.

Despite the relative popularity of legal online music stores, like iTunes, the problem of illegal downloading is creating headaches for hte record industry.

It has now spoken out to criticise Google's failure to eradicate pirated music sites from its search results: whilst trying to launch a squeaky-clean alternative in Google Play.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) says the Internet giant has failed to remove certain links to illegal music downloads and things such as torrent files from its search engine results. BPI claims this lack of action undermines music artists.

Earlier this year, Google announced changes to their search algorithm, aimed at stopping sites with a history of offering illegal downloads from appearing in the results. This shift in its SEO policy was designed to tackle online piracy.

But the BPI says, three months on, it hasn't worked.

In an interview with the BBC, BPI's chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "We don't think it makes any sense for them to be doing something which does support artists, and then, on the other hand, undermines artists by referring consumers to illegal sites.

"We personally think three months should be long enough to get it working."

Google Play said the new music service is a totally separate entity from its search engine parent company.

Google Play's head of international licensing, Sami Valknonen, said: "The way that our search engine works is a completely separate algorithm from anything we do on Google Play.

"I think it's something that is hopefully going to make piracy obsolete, because it's so easy to operate within the bounds of the law that there is really no need to go beyond them."

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