Say goodbye to searching for pirated torrent links very soon. Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo are joining hands to deal online content piracy a decisive blow!
Conferring with the British government – the Intellectual Property Office to be exact – Google, Bing and Yahoo seem to be inching towards a mutual agreement that will remove search result pages linking to torrent websites with illegal or copyrighted content, according to a TorrentFreak report.
Entertainment companies have been fighting for something like this to happen ever since DMCA was enacted back in 1998 to counter online piracy!
While this rule (agreed upon by mutual consent) will come into place on June 1, 2017, in UK, it won’t immediately deprive Indian or global users of these search engines access to these torrent portals and illegal content websites. There’s no clarity on this yet. But June is still over three months away, and who’s to say this landmark joint agreement between all three stakeholders won’t be replicated globally in other markets? We just have to wait and see.
Why is this a landmark step?
Entertainment companies have long held a belief that search engines are the first steps leading people onwards to pirated content and illegal torrent websites. And in their war against content pirates, the entertainment industry has left no stone unturned in bombarding search engines with takedown requests — where a search result linking to an infringing content piece is legally asked to be removed from the search engine.
For instance, Google has been asked to remove or takedown over 1 billion search results for linking to pirated content or illegal torrents related to 1 million domains, according to a TorrentFreak report.Google successfully removed over 90% of these infringing search results.
And this was just for 2016!
What’s more, torrent portals and content piracy websites frequently change their domain names and resurface. For example, The Pirate Bay alone has over 100 alternate domains where its entire torrent directory is available for browsing. Google and other search engines may takedown or block pages originating from thepiratebay.org but how do they deal with this hydra-like entity where you chop off one of its head and two more surface in its place? Also, the sheer volume of takedown requests was putting a strain on Google and other search engine’s resources. After all, shouldn’t there be a better way of dealing with this menace?
Will this stop online piracy once and for all?
If you think this step from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, the entertainment industry and British government means online content piracy and illegal torrent websites will be out of people’s reach, that won’t be the case.
Piracy won’t end until legal access to content is made available extremely easily in an extremely affordable way, across geographies. Otherwise, all these measures are just stop-gap and they won’t definitively help solve the central issue of piracy once and for all.