Okay, so maybe Google isn’t exactly an advocate for video piracy, but they don’t seem to be taking the drastic measures needed to keep copyrighted videos off of their service. The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) posted an article criticizing Google’s effort (or lack thereof) for stopping copyrighted videos from appearing on the Google Video site. They pointed out that:
Internet operations such as MySpace, TorrentSpy, DailyMotion and Break.com have set up filtering systems to block copyrighted material. Google is a $158 Billion company with arguably the most advanced search technology in the world. The argument that they cannot block pirated content because of technological or financial reasons is laughable.
The NLPC wasn’t just all talk either, they actually went to Google Video and scrounged up what they believe to be the top 50 full length movies, cable and television shows, and music concert videos. On average the 50 that they had chosen have been available an average of 168 days, and one Harry Potter video in particular has been up for well over a year.
They provide details for each of the items in their list, such as the year it was released, how many days it has been posted, and how many views it has had. However, they decided against linking to any of the videos for obvious reasons.
Google Video is such a haven for these pirated video uploads because they don’t have any restriction on the length or size of the movie (as long as you’re using the application to upload and not the web-based uploader). Not only that but Google makes it easy for users to download the original full-quality video that was posted by providing a "Download" link in the sidebar.
So how easy is it to find these videos? It’s kind of hit or miss, but I have found some techniques to be more successful than others. For example, if you were looking for Monty Python and the Holy Grail you could find it in just a few seconds by filtering your search results a little bit:
In that search I added "full" on to the end because most people who upload the movie will put that in the description to represent that it is the full video. I also added "site:google.com" onto the end because Google Video searches a lot of sites for videos now, but Google Video is one of the few with unlimited upload limits. So only allowing Google Video results will probably help you find what you’re looking for a little faster.
Lastly, I adjusted the duration of the videos by choosing "Long" from the drop-down box. This will make sure that only results over 20-minutes are shown, which helps eliminate the movie trailers that get posted.
My first attempt was successful as you can see from the list of results I received. The very first item on the list is the full Monty Python video, and using the download link in the sidebar I could even download the 693MB AVI file so that I could watch it at my leisure: