Google’s Schmidt blasts Internet copyright bills

Google’s Schmidt blasts Internet copyright bills

Cambridge: Google Inc executive chairman Eric Schmidt blasted proposed legislation to tighten online copyright regulation on Tuesday, saying the bills would lead to censorship of the Internet.

Intended to combat the trade in pirated movies and music, the two bills would give copyright holders and law enforcement officials added powers to cut off websites and require search engines, payment collectors and others to block access.

Schmidt said content owners like Hollywood studios have a legitimate problem, since increasing trading of pirated movies threatens their revenue.

“Their business models are threatened by theft," Schmidt said. “We don’t endorse it. Please don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop. I hope that’s very clear."

The legislation Schmidt opposed is called the PROTECT IP Act in the United States (US) Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US House of Representatives.

Instead, Schmidt recommended regulations based on tracing payments spent at websites offering illegal materials.

The remarks followed a letter to lawmakers opposing the bills from a group of Internet companies including Google, AOL Inc, eBay Inc, Facebook, Yahoo Inc and Twitter.

“We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation’s cyber security," the companies wrote.