'Harry Potter' and 'HairSpray' appear at Google Video.

Watchdog group notes a big week for YouTube's siter site: three high-profile movies, including one that has yet to debut in theaters, all appeared at Google Video on Monday.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

The hits just keep coming to Google Video.

Pirated versions of Hairspray, Bruce Willis' Live Free, Die Hard and last weekend's top grossing film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, were available at YouTube's sister site on Monday.

The films were first flagged by the National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group that tries to prod public figures to act ethically. The NLPC argues that Google treats the entertainment industry unfairly by allegedly looking the other way when users post pirated material to its sites.

For a month, the NLPC has dug up hundreds of full-length films and TV shows at Google Video to dramatical show that the company should be able to find unauthorized videos if a group of lawyers can.

"For all of the content we host," said Gabe Stricker, a Google spokesman in an email, "whether from premium content providers or creative end-users, we require the content provider to hold all necessary rights to the material. We cooperate with copyright holders to identify and promptly remove any infringing content. Of course, no system is bulletproof."

In addition, while YouTube has long been at the center of a controversy over whether the company is responsible for copyright clips posted to the site, the NLPC is trying to draw attention to the infringing content available at Google's other video property.

One of the things that stumps Ken Boehm, the NLPC's chairman, is why Google doesn't enforce a maximum clip length. At YouTube, the clips must be 10 minutes or less, a restriction designed to prevent feature-length material from being posted.

Another issue Boehm has with Google Video is that the site doesn't appear to be suspending users for posting infringing content. YouTube has said that it boots users for violating the site's user agreement, which specifically outlaws the uploading of copyright content.

"It looks like the link I sent you for the Harry Potter movie was yanked," Boehm wrote in an e-mail. "I found it again. The kicker is that this new link was obviously put up by the same person who posted the first one."