Google and Microsoft are helping to combat UK torrent sites by applying the kiss of death that is relegation from the first page of search results.
In new guidelines agreed with the UK government and bodies representing the creative industries, Google Search and Bing will also delete illegal sharing sites from search suggestions.
So, for example, those who may begin typing ‘Pirate Bay’ will not see an autocomplete option.
See also: MWC 2017
Both Bing and Google Search will be compliant with the new code over the next couple of months, the Telegraph reports.
The news was greeted with optimism by industry figures, who also warned there is a long way to go before the problems of search-based piracy are resolved.
Geoff Taylor, CEO of the BPI, told the Telegraph: “We have long campaigned for search engines to do more to ensure fans are directed to legal sources for music or other entertainment. There is much work still to do to achieve this.
“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 Google spokesperson 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.”
Whether demotion in search rankings will deter members of the public illegally downloading content remains to be seen, but it will at least make the illegitimate sources less visible.
Put it this way, how often do you look past the first page of Google for anything?
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