Google and Bing have pledged to make it hard for UK internet users to find pirated films, music and illegally streamed sport. They have signed up to a voluntary code of practice and will ensure that offending websites are demoted in their search results.
The initiative will run in parallel with existing anti-piracy measures and the code is said to be the first of its type in the world, expecting to be in operation by the summer. Google has indicated that the code provides a way to check that its existing anti-piracy efforts are effective, rather than committing it to adding new measures.
The entertainment industry reached the agreement with the tech giants after talks brokered by the government. One topic that was talked about was online security.
The organisers of the new agreement say in the future, internet users will be more likely to be taken to bona fide providers rather than pirate sites where their online security could be at risk. Eddy Leviten, director general at trade body the Alliance for Intellectual Property, said: “Sometimes people will search for something and they will end up unwittingly being taken to a pirated piece of content. What we want to ensure is that the results at the top of the search engines are the genuine ones. It is about protecting people who use the internet, but also protecting the creators of that material too.”
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of music industry body the BPI said: “Successful and dynamic online innovation requires an ecosystem that works for everyone, users, technology companies, and artists and creators. The code will not be a silver bullet fix, but it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site.”
A spokesman from Google said, “Google has been an active partner for many years in the fight against piracy online. We remain committed to tackling this issue and look forward to further partnership with rights holders.”
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