Google sues Mississippi Attorney General

516EDMTJSNLGoogle has sued the attorney general of Mississippi accusing him of conspiring with the movie industry.

The search engine claims that Jim Hood had been improperly influenced by major Hollywood studios that are trying to crack down on the distribution of pirated movies on the Internet.

The lawsuit also questioned the authority of state law enforcement officials to regulate Internet service providers.

Hood and Google have been at war for a while now. Hood issued a 79-page subpoena in October, asking that the company turn over information about its search engine and sales of illegal drugs, pornography and other materials. He suggested that the company was knowingly profiting from such sales and demanded a response from Google by early January.

However during the Sony hack Emails and other records showed how the movie industry, through a nonprofit group it funded, had hired the former attorney general from Mississippi, whom Hood used to work for, to put pressure on Hood to attack Google.

The Sony emails also showed how the major movie studios, working through the Motion Picture Association of America, had created what they called Project Goliath, to press state attorneys general to question, subpoena and sue the company.

All this is a bit tricky for Hood to squeeze out of – although he did have a go. Hood said Google was using its deep pockets in an attempt to “stop the State of Mississippi for daring to ask some questions.” Nevertheless, he said he would call the company and try to work out a deal.

It also accused Hood of essentially acting as a pawn for the MPAA., arguing that. Hood “took these actions following a sustained lobbying effort from the Motion Picture Association of America.”

The MPPA, which was clearly caught out, went onto the attack with its usual bile about how Freedom of Speech is being used as a shield for unlawful activities and “the Internet is not a license to steal.”

However if the case gets to court, it could be a mess for the studios. You can hardly play the victim when you are buying politicians to bully those who disagree with your business model.