Google accuses Hollywood of reviving ‘censorship’ war

Internet giant Google has accused a Hollywood trade association of reviving a campaign to "censor" the internet.

Kent Walker, the head of Google's global legal team, said in a post on the company's public policy blog that it "deeply concerned" by media reports suggesting that the movie industry group the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had sought to revive previously unsuccessful attempts at internet piracy legislation.

Justin Solomon | CNBC

"We are deeply concerned about recent reports that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) led a secret, coordinated campaign to revive the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation through other means, and helped manufacture legal arguments in connection with an investigation by Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood," Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in the blog post published Thursday.

Members of the MPAA include Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures; Sony Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox; Universal, part of CNBC parent company NBC Universal, and Warner Bros.

The post reignites a high-profile dispute between Hollywood and the internet that started three years ago when the industries clashed over proposed legislation on piracy, known as SOPA.

Read MoreWhy Hollywood wants SOPA

While the movie industry supported the online piracy act in order to prevent widespread copyright infringement and protect intellectual property, thousands of websites and millions of internet said the proposed legislation would curtail free speech on the internet. To drive their arguments home, in early 2012 around 115,000 websites – including Google – participated in a widespread "blackout."

The act was postponed by the U.S. Congress, but not shelved for good. The latest post from Google comes after a spate of reports suggesting that the MPAA had secretly started a new campaign to revive SOPA.

Google's Walker cited a report in U.S. technology news and media network The Verge, which reported last week that the MPAA and six studios had "joined together to begin a new campaign" to achieve wholesale site-blocking by "[convincing] state prosecutors to take up the fight against [Google]" as a reason for Google's renewed concerns.

Read MoreFilm group backsantipiracy curriculum for schools

Walker then said that Google had received a letter from Mississippi State General Jim Hood that he said had been largely drafted by a law firm representing the MPAA. He cited a New York Times report that reported that the letter was only minimally edited by the state Attorney General before he signed it.

Kent Walker was keen to stress that Google "although takes industry-leading measures in dealing with problematic content on our services, Attorney General Hood proceeded to send Google a sweeping 79-page subpoena, covering a variety of topics over which he lacks jurisdiction."

When contacted by the Huffington Post earlier this week, Attorney General Hood said the MPAA "has no major influence on my decision making" and that he didn't know who the MPAA's lawyers were. CNBC also contacted the MPAA for comment but has yet to receive a reply.

Walker said that while Google has "serious legal concerns about all of this, one disappointing part of this story is what this all means for the MPAA itself, an organization founded in part "to promote and defend the First Amendment and artists' right to free expression."

"Why, then, is it trying to secretly censor the Internet?," he concluded.

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt.

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