The details on this one are just emerging, but it looks something like this: according to a report coming from the Telegraph, Google is now pressuring Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and other credit card companies to cut pirate sites off completely, a step that would significantly choke profits to illegal destinations. This also involves issuing banks, by default.
The details on this oxygen-starving move are somewhat thin at this stage, though a concerted action could be ahead. “If Google goes ahead with the radical move, it would not mark the first time that illegal websites have been diminished or driven out of business by having a block put on their source of cash,” Telegraph journalist Katherine Rushton relayed.
“The idea of shutting off finance to more websites is already popular with many in the book publishing, music, film and television industries, who want to see tougher measures to control piracy.”
Already, a huge amount of skepticism surrounds these discussions. Google has urged content owners to ‘follow the money’ and choke piracy at the roots, instead of pursuing time-intensive, expensive methods like DMCA takedown notices and pressuring legislators. That sounds effective, but also extremely convenient for Google. After all, pressuring credit cards and payment providers doesn’t involve DMCA takedown notices, search filtering, or any serious inspection of Google’s opaque advertising network.
More as it develops.