THE UK GOVERNMENT could force Google, along with other search engines, to implement an 'anti-piracy' code, whether they like it or not.
Last week it was reported that Google and other search firms could introduce a 'voluntary anti-piracy code' later this year following pressure from the entertainment industry.
This was confirmed by Baroness Peta Buscombe during a discussion on the Digital Economy Bill. She said that, while a full agreement had not yet been reached, this voluntary code could take effect as soon as 1 July.
"Since the idea was last discussed in [parliament], Intellectual Property Office officials have chaired a further round-table meeting between search engines and representatives of the creative industries.
"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.
"All parties have also agreed that the code should take effect, and the targets in it be reached, by 1 June this year."
However, it seems the UK government is preparing a Plan B, in case the search firms fail to reach an agreement.
According to an amendment to the much-criticised Digital Economy Bill, spotted by TorrentFreak, the government could force Google and others to implement an anti-piracy code, whether they like it or not.
"The Secretary of State may impose by order a code of practice (‘the code') for search engine providers with the purpose of minimising the availability and promotion of copyright infringing services, including those which facilitate copyright infringement by their users," the amendment reads.
However, there could be room for Google and others to push back, as before imposing any anti-piracy code, the Secretary of State will publish a draft code and consider submissions made by search engine providers, rights holders and their representatives, plus any other interested parties.
This news comes as UK ISPs are gearing up to target 'pirates' with stern letters, telling them that they should probably sign up to Netflix or Spotify or something. µ
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