Google sues AG claiming that he is calling for censorship of the Internet, puppet of MPAA.
The search giant aggressively went after Hollywood and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (D) today alleging in a U.S. district court that latter is violating both the First and Fourth Amendments. Google is claiming that Hood has “threatened to prosecute, sue, or investigate Google” for facilitating and guiding people to illegal content. Google maintains that he is on a fishing expedition by requesting a trove of documents with a “punitive” subpoena that Hood sent Google on Oct. 27, 2014.
Google lashes out
Google maintains that this is a not only a violation of the First Amendment but that Hood is working for others. The tech giant insists that “the state can no more tell a search engine what results to publish than it can tell a newspaper what editorials to run.”
Google’s General Counsel Kent Walker went even further in a blog post today essentially calling Hood a stooge and accusing him of trying to revive the failed SOPA legislation:
We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed SOPA legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood.
Almost three years ago, millions of Americans helped stop a piece of congressional legislation—supported by the MPAA—called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). If passed, SOPA would have led to censorship across the web. No wonder that 115,000 websites—including Google—participated in a protest, and over the course of a single day, Congress received more than 8 million phone calls and 4 million emails, as well as getting 10 million petition signatures.
Hood and the MPAA
Speaking with the Huffington Post earlier this week, perhaps aware of the coming suit, Hood said, “Google’s not a government, they may think they are, but they don’t owe anyone a First Amendment right. If you’re an illegal site, you ought to clean up your act, instead of Google making money off it.”
Admitting that he worked with Hollywood’s biggest lobbyist, the MPAA, Hood added, “We’re just saying that if a website has 90 percent illegal material, they shouldn’t put them in search results,” he said. “We’ve been working on these issues for years, and Google full well knows that.”
The MPAA wasn’t as “reasonable” as Hood calling Google’s blog post “shameful,” in a battle that is certain to heat up nest year.
“Google’s blog post today is a transparent attempt to deflect focus from its own conduct and to shift attention from legitimate and important ongoing investigations by state attorneys general into the role of Google Search in enabling and facilitating illegal conduct — including illicit drug purchases, human trafficking and fraudulent documents as well as theft of intellectual property,” an MPAA representative said in a statement. “We will seek the assistance of any and all government agencies, whether federal, state or local, to protect the rights of all involved in creative activities.”