1. Fight against piracy: Google’s new cod may have limited impact

Fight against piracy: Google’s new cod may have limited impact

The fight against piracy has been on for a long time. Governments have been banning sites that host pirated software, films, songs, etc, and also the services that allow users to download these.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 11, 2017 4:38 AM
Google, too, had gone on the offensive terming some as repeat-offenders, but the market for piracy has been going strong. (Reuters) Google, too, had gone on the offensive terming some as repeat-offenders, but the market for piracy has been going strong. (Reuters)

The fight against piracy has been on for a long time. Governments have been banning sites that host pirated software, films, songs, etc, and also the services that allow users to download these. Google, too, had gone on the offensive terming some as repeat-offenders, but the market for piracy has been going strong. Now, according to a report by The Independent, Google and other search engines, in association with entertainment firms, are drafting a new code to reduce the reflection of links to pirated content—like Torrent links—on their platform. Say, if a person were to search for a movie download link, then he will be directed to less of such websites. Also, with the government banning many of these, the available services could be considerably lower.

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Not that Google has not been fighting against piracy, but the new rigour comes at a time when the company is itself offering music and video services via its platform. But winning a fight against pirated content may not be so easy. Even if this code is introduced, companies would start masking their content, needing a deeper response. The ban imposed is just on peer-to-peer file-sharing services like Torrents, where a person uploads such content on a server which can then be downloaded by millions using file-sharing platforms and does not apply to streaming services, which people have been using more, given the advances in net-speed. More important, given how just a month ago, people had discovered that there was a loophole in Youtube, one of the Google run products, which allowed people to upload adult content on it, there is a possibility Google knows very less of what happens on its own platforms. Ultimately, the push against piracy would have to come from entertainment companies giving people faster and high-quality services at lower rates. This is evident from the growth of video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime and audio services like Spotify and Apple Music, across the world.

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