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A world’s first deal between rights holders and search engines has been struck

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 21 February 2017

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We previously wrote about a deal that was close to being struck between copyright holders and search engines to combat privacy. The Government and Intellectual Property Office officials had been acting as the middle men for what was hoped to be a voluntary agreement. The Government had warned that if a deal was not struck a not so voluntary amendment would be inserted into the Digital Economy Bill to force search engines to comply.

Baroness Buscombe revealed, during a Digital Economy Bill committee meeting, that a deal was on the table. The Baroness explained that “While there are still elements of detail to be settled, the group is now agreed on the key content of the code and I expect an agreement to be reached very soon.”

Today, marks a world first, a deal has been struck between Google, Microsoft’s Bing and several others in the creative industry. A new anti piracy code has been announced, and under this agreement the search engines will optimize their algorithms to devalue pirated content in search results.

“This should start to trigger faster and more effective demotion – and delisting. That should also mean that legal content sources are better promoted and artists and creators better rewarded,” Eddy Leviten, Director General of the Alliance for Intellectual Property told TorrentFreak.

1st June is the day that the changes should take effect however, the changes will only affect the UK.

 Stan McCoy, President & Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association EMEA explained that: “Pirate websites are currently much too easy to find via search, so we appreciate the parties’ willingness to try to improve that situation,”

Google has been demoting pirated search results for several years already, and some pirate terms have already been banned from autocomplete.

Therefore, the deal that has been struck is nothing completely new and interestingly, removing pirate websites from search results altogether is not part of the deal. We will have to wait and see as to the effectiveness of the new deal. 

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