Google 'refuses' Mega blacklist request

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 10:36 29/05/2013
Gangster Squad
Warner Bros Pictures

BOOTLEGGING IT: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad.

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Mega chief executive Vikram Kumar says Google appears to have disregarded a request from United States studios NBC and Warner Bros that Google remove Mega's homepage from its search results.

NBC and Warner Bros issued the request in the United States overnight when they included Kim Dotcom's Mega in a list of dozens of web services that they alleged were being used to host pirated copies of Warner Bros' film Mama and NBC's film Gangster Squad.

In all other cases the studios pointed to the specific web addresses of the pirated files, requesting Google remove only those locations from its search results.

However, in Mega's case they requested Google remove Mega's homepage itself.

Kumar said Google appeared to have actioned all the studios' delisting requests, apart from the one relating to Mega.

If Google did remove Mega's homepage from its search results, computer users might find it a little harder to search for and find Mega online, but he doubted it would have a major commercial impact on the Auckland firm.

Mega would raise the issue with Google if it were to action NBC and Warner Bros' requests, he said. "But it is doing the right thing."

Kumar said Mega was prepared to give NBC and Warner Bros "the benefit of the doubt" on this occasion that the delisting request had been "a mistake". The lists were often generated and actioned automatically, he said.

Google's Sydney-based spokesman Johnny Luu indicated the company was unlikely to comment.

Tony Eaton, the chief executive the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, the United States branch of the Motion Picture Association of America, whose members include Warner Bros could not be reached for comment.

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