Google and Bing to demote copyright-infringing websites in search results

Google and Bing to demote copyright-infringing websites in search results

Google and Bing to demote copyright-infringing websites in search results

The initiative aims to reduce the number of people accessing illegal sites, which now stands at 6.7m United Kingdom users.

The agreement sees the Alliance For Intellectual Property, BPI and MPA, partner with Google and Microsoft's Bling on a new voluntary code of practice, which will lead to the removal of links to unlicensed material, meant to reduce the prominence of infringing content in search rankings.

Matt Hancock, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, added: "We are one of the world's leading digital nations, and we have a responsibility to make sure that consumers have easy access to legal content online". Improvements will also be made to autocomplete suggestions so that they are less likely to lead users to illegal material.

"What we want to ensure is that the results at the top of the search engines are the genuine ones". There is much work still to do to achieve this.

This agreement will run in parallel with existing anti-piracy measures aimed at reducing online infringement.

Current anti-piracy measures in the United Kingdom include court mandated site blocking, efforts to reduce advertising appearing on illegal websites and Get it Right From A Genuine Site education campaign, which encourages fans to support the creative process. We are grateful for the support from UK Government both for this code and for the "Get It Right" campaign that encourages fans to support the artists they love.

Stan McCoy, of the Motion Picture Association in Europe, welcomed the code of practice, saying pirated websites are now too easy to find via search engines.

"Consumers are increasingly heading online for music, films, e-books, and a wide variety of other content. We remain committed to tackling this issue and look forward to further partnership with right holders", a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

Even if you search for a torrent via Google right now, you won't be directed to a popular Torrent website as those have already been struck down by the search engine giant.

Since 2011, when it began its programme of notifications to search engines to remove links to infringing content in their search results, the BPI has sent over 450 million notices to Microsoft's Bing (183,333,358) and Google (274,807,342) combined. In the three-month period from March to May 2016, films were accessed through illegal sources 24m times and music tracks 78m times.

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