UK culture secretary wants Google to be copyright cop -

The UK Culture Secretary is demanding that Google turn its resources to hunting down those who pirate content.

Jeremy Hunt told eWeek  that it is time that Google helped Big Content shut down who ever it thought was a pirate.

He said he will be meet Google and give it a Chinese burn until it agreed to help out his entertainment business chums.

What Hunt wants is for search engines, advertisers and credit card companies should go further to "make life more difficult" for online pirates.

He said that if a court deems a site to be unlawful the government wants search engines to push it down the rankings to stifle traffic and at the same time cut off advertising or payment revenues to make the site economically unviable.

His logic is based on the much touted Hollywood myth that people who share files are making shedloads of its cash, and are not normal people who want to see Torchwood at the same time as those in the United States.

Hunt said that in the absence of an industry-led solution the government is apparently prepared to use the upcoming Communications Bill to legislate.

The government has previously demanded that ISPs cut off pirate sites and users who infringe copyright. This has been challenged in court by BT and TalkTalk and ISPs have proposed an independent watchdog with the power to blacklist sites.

Hunt said that online businesses deserve the same legal protection and rights as offline, physical ones.

He insists that he is not propping up movie and music industry mogols who will not move with the times.

However he said that the new models will never be able to prosper if they have to compete with free alternatives based on the illegal distribution of copyrighted material.

The question is if laws are needed. Google insists it already deals with requests from copyright holders within four hours.

One might suggest that if Hunt wants to end the problems of online piracy in the UK, he might encourage the film industry to pull finger and develop a proper movie streaming service in the EU.