After a long standing debate with movie and music right holders, Google and Microsoft’ Bing search engines have decided to crack down on online piracy websites in the UK. According to reports, the technology majors have signed a voluntary code of practice with British Phonographic Industry and Motion Picture Association, which essentially will result in de-listing of piracy websites from the first page of Google search and Bing search results. This move will also remove any autocomplete suggestion which can result in people being directed towards illegal downloads. This decision will take effect, reportedly by June 1, 2017.
According to Intellectual Property Office, this move by both the tech giants to decrease the visibility of infringing content is a landmark achievement. This move by Google and Microsoft means, that popular torrent search engines and repeat offenders will witness a drop from their presence on the first page of Google and Bing search results. It is possible that the music and movie fans willing to download content will be directed towards legitimate websites. Earlier, it was speculated and reported that Google will ‘ban’ the torrent websites and illegal downloads, but it was not so.
There was just a discussion between search engine giants like Google and entertainment companies, chaired by UK’s Intellectual Property Office. Google commands a 90 percent hold in the European search market. The report suggested that the discussions were on implementing a voluntary code of conduct with an aim to deal with online piracy. There is no mention of the words ‘ban’ or ‘torrent’ in the report posted on TorrentFreak.
Google, the world’s biggest search platform, has been taking its initiatives in battling copyright issues. Google in its ‘How to fight piracy’ report last year said that it has been taking almost all the takedown requests from Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a United States copyright law. According to Google, it has been taking fast actions to take down infringing web pages from its search results, by handling thousands of requests every day.
Google’s efforts in its fight against piracy, has reaped benefits so much so that the search results have come down a lot, especially on popular torrent websites and biggest offenders like The Pirate Bay and Torrentz. However, smaller torrent sites and illegal streaming sites are still present in the results, but the effort that Google has been taking is commendable. It is also not possible for Google to ban such a huge number of torrent websites, apart from the fact that the company is all against censorship.