Google and other search engines want to implement a voluntary anti-piracy code: Report

Copyright infringement has been a thorn in the side of the entertainment industry for decades now. In the internet era, search engines like Google do, involuntarily, enable copyright infringement.


Copyright infringement has been a thorn in the side of the entertainment industry for decades now. In the internet era, search engines like Google do, involuntarily, enable copyright infringement.

Bodies like the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) have made it their mission to destroy copyright infringement. Their fights have resulted in user-hostile DRM, incessant lawsuits and a lot more.

Google and other search engines have been asked, and sometimes ordered, to remove infringing content. Governments too have pitched in. In India, for example, piracy websites like The Pirate Bay keep getting taken down.

For its part, Google has done a lot to combat piracy. It has a system in place to respond to DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) requests and has also penalised offenders based on the number of valid DMCA requests received. These moves have apparently resulted in up to a 90 percent decline in search traffic for some torrent sites, or so Google claims.

TorrentFreak reports that Google received a billion such requests last year.

Anti-piracy lobbyists still don’t think these measures are enough, however, and would rather see these links taken down entirely. Google has always been against such a move as this would amount to censorship. Google also insists that the majority of traffic to these torrent sites is now direct traffic, not search results.

A draft Digital Economy Bill is now in the works in the UK which, if passed, will compel search engines to follow a ‘code of practice’ that will determine how they deal with piracy-enabling sites, reports TorrentFreak.

The report adds that industry bodies and search engines are not that keen on the bill and that they would prefer to sort things out amicably.

To that end, Google and other search engines are looking to implement a voluntary anti-piracy code. Discussions are currently underway, but no decision has been publicly announced.

These search giants are reportedly working with entertainment companies to tweak their algorithms and processes to deal with copyright-infringing content.

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