Google Search and Microsoft Bing to Ban Websites with Pirated Content

Google and Microsoft enter into agreement in the UK to suppress websites with pirated content

Google and Microsoft are joining hands in the fight against pirated content. A new report suggests that the companies are making a move in the UK to prevent users from watching pirated content – both downloadable and streaming.

As part of an agreement with the British Phonographic Industry and Motion Picture Association, the companies have voluntarily said that they would deliberately demote certain websites in their search results. The voluntary code of practice is the first of its kind in the world.

What this means is that when everything has been set up, internet users in the UK using Google Search or Microsoft Bing will only be led to sites carrying properly licensed content. Websites that contain pirated content will be suppressed in the results pages.

Though the British authorities are making a big deal of it, calling it a “landmark agreement” and a “first-of-its-kind initiative,” Google’s official stand is that this is merely part of an ongoing fight against digital piracy. In a statement, Google’s spokesperson said this:

“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.”

Google already blocks a lot of websites that violate digital ownership and global copyright laws, as does Microsoft. It’s not likely that either company will have to rework its privacy policies and terms of use.

Nothing was mentioned about how Google and Microsoft will actually identify and flag websites with illegal content, but we know that they already have that capability built in to their search engines.

For now, this is the first such formal agreement between tech giants and government agencies, but it’s logical that it creates a precedent for government authorities from other countries to come to similar arrangements with Google and Microsoft.

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