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February 20, 2017updated 21 Feb 2017 5:40pm

Google, Bing and UK Government in online piracy crackdown

Search engines and creative industries have co-operated with the government to create new anti-piracy measures.

By Joe Clark

Search engines have come together to in a bid to crackdown on Piracy.

Both Google and Bing have agreed on a voluntary code of conduct to ensure illegal content sharing sites are harder to find.

The deal was formed between the UK government, members of the entertainment industry, and the search engines. The solution will make use of a new type of code that will attempt to bring official content sites to the top of search results whilst hiding pirated materials.

The discussion was led by the Intellectual Property Office, in association with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

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.”

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Anti-Piracy measures in the UK already include the court ordered blocking of piracy websites, a scheme to divert advertising away from piracy sites, and the Get it Right From A Genuine Site initiative which is designed to encourage fans to support creators.

Minister of State Jo Johnson MP will oversee the implementation of this Code of Practice, and the IPO will work with all parties to evaluate progress.

Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said:

“Search engines play a vital role in helping consumers discover content online. Their relationship with our world leading creative industries needs to be collaborative. Consumers are increasingly heading online for music, films, e-books, and a wide variety of other content. It is essential that they are presented with links to legitimate websites and services, not provided with links to pirate sites.”

The new code could be operational as soon as summer 2017, though if the film and music industries feel the situation does not improve they will ask the government to apply more pressure.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, said: “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.

“Pirate sites deprive artists and rights holders of hard-earned income and I’m delighted to see industry led solutions like this landmark agreement which will be instrumental in driving change.”


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