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Rights holders demand search engines delist 'pirate' web sites

Google, Bing and Yahoo are given a list of demands
Mon Jan 30 2012, 17:21

COPYRIGHT HOLDERS have demanded that search engines delist filesharing web sites like The Pirate Bay and give higher rankings to authorised content.

According to Torrent Freak, the demands were made behind closed doors at a UK meeting that was facilitated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). At the meeting, copyright holders are reported to have handed out a list of demands to Google, Bing and Yahoo.

A document obtained by the Open Rights Group via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request refers to a government overlooked proposal for a "Voluntary Code of Practice" for search engines.

Among the proposals, rights holders want so-called 'pirated' content to be less easy to find, and search engines to instead prioritise web sites that obtain certification as licensed web sites under a recognised scheme. They want to put a halt to indexing websites that are subject to court orders, while establishing suitable procedures to de-index what they call "substantially infringing" web sites altogether.

The copyright holders claim that it is inexcusable that web sites such as The Pirate Bay are still listed when it has been held in some jurisdictions that it might infringe copyrights.

The document also revealed how many top searches linked to so-called 'pirated' material.

Unsurprisingly, the search engines are understood to be unhappy about these rightsholders' proposals, and at a future meeting are expected to offer their own proposals. This meeting and any resolution could be a long time coming, but it seems clear that the copyright holders believe that censorship is the only way forward. µ


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