Posted by Zarathustra 4:39 PM (CST)
Wednesday February 08, 2017
Torrentfreak is reporting today that Google and other search engine providers are close to a voluntary agreement with rightsholders on how to best conceal search results pointing to pirated content. While Google has taken many steps to limit showing links to pirated content in the past, and reportedly received over a billion takedown requests last year alone, they are always accused of not doing enough. Maybe the rights holders are annoyed at those links at the bottom of the page that tell you exactly which links they are not showing you?
While this story is U.K. specific, there is no indication whether the agreement would have global implications, or if it would apply only for searches originating from the U.K.
Personally I don't buy holding indexing services like Google responsible for piracy. To me, it sounds a lot like holding the phone company responsible for for money laundering, because you can find a money-laundering front business in the yellow pages.
Due to the worldwide nature of the web, it will be extremely interesting to see how any UK-based agreement plays out overseas. It seems unlikely that Google will be able to implement strictly local measures without coming under pressure to follow suit in the United States, for example.If you can do it in the UK, you can do it everywhere, the company will be told.