Wednesday, 08 March 2017 08:53

Google and Microsoft agree to demote piracy search results in the UK

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Ars Technica
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Google and Microsoft's Bing have agreed to crack down on piracy sites in the UK after years of wrangling with film and music rights holders.

The tech giants have inked a voluntary code of practice with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Motion Picture Association following a series of talks overseen by the UK's copyright watchdog and steered by the department for culture, media, and sport.

Further ReadingDigital Economy Bill: Why the Tories want to police more of the online world

On Monday, the Intellectual Property Office described it as a "landmark agreement" in which Google and Bing have vowed to reduce "the visibility of infringing content in search results by 1 June 2017." It means that repeat offenders who post pirated material online will see their sites drop off the first page of Google and Bing when film and music fans search for content. Instead, searchers will apparently be shepherded towards legit sites.

Google—which commands more than 90 percent of the search market in Europe—was keen to play down the significance of the agreement. "Google has been an active partner for many years in the fight against piracy online," it said in a statement to Ars.

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