Google and Bing Will Now Ban Pirate Websites But Does it Really Matter

Prayank

Google and Microsoft-owned Bing will be banning illegal pirate websites from surfacing on the top results of a search query in the UK, as part of a deal brokered by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which was backed by the entertainment industry.

Image for representational purpose only. | Source

Piracy on the web has hit the entertainment industry the hardest as a majority of the users choose to opt for the free pirated music/movies or tv shows rather than pay for them — causing these artists and companies to lose money.

Google has been criticised before for not being able to stop piracy on the net, but according to the new ‘anti-piracy code’, Google and Microsoft will prevent any website which hosts pirated content from surfacing on either of the search engine’s first pages and also block related keyword from their auto-suggestions.

“Google has been an active partner for many years in the fight against piracy online. We remain committed to tackling this issue and look forward to further partnership with right holders,” a spokesperson told The Telegraph.

The rise of legal streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and others has curbed the business of pirate websites quite a bit, but they still remain a popular choice among internet users.

Popular Pirate Websites Get Direct Traffic

Popular pirate websites such as Kickass torrents and Piratebay receive almost 4/5th of their traffic from direct visitors on their websites which dwarf the traffic from search engines.

Source: SimilarWeb

Even if you search for a torrent via Google right now, you won’t be directed to a popular Torrent website as those have already been struck down by the search engine giant.

In light of this information, Google, Bing or any other search engine putting a ban on a pirate website might turn out to be a futile exercise, at least for now as the netizens right now are well aware of where to source free pirated content from directly without needing the help of a search engine.

The IPO will be monitoring how Google and Microsoft work according to the new deal and might add more condition in the coming months if results aren’t acceptable.

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.