Google has denied suggestions from News Corporation that the company's website is a "platform for piracy".
Earlier this month, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson wrote a strongly-worded letter to the European Commission warning that Google's search engine was a "platform for piracy" that favours sites in search results that aggregate news articles, rather than the creators of those news articles themselves.
In a response posted on the company's blog today, Google's senior vice president for global communications Rachel Whetstone said Google's seach enginge drives over 10 billion clicks per month to 60,0000 publishers' websites, with billions of dollars in advertising shared with publishers.
She said Google had "done more than almost any other company" in tackling privacy, stating that last year the company removed over 222 million sites from Google's search results due to copyright infringement.
These take-down requests from rights holders were now responded to in an average of six hours. Other websites, she said, were downgraded in the results for regularly breach copyright.
Whetstone said that the internet allows people to access more content and more competition than ever before, but said that Google was not the gate keeper to that information, with direct traffic, search site competition to Google, and the switch to mobile meaning Google was not the only place the public now finds information or news.
She added that Google changes its search algorithm over 500 times a year, and were not targeted at punishing companies.
In Australia, News Corp Australia called (PDF) on the government to enact legislation that would allow rights holders to obtain a court order to force internet service providers to block access to sites containing copyright-infringing content.