Bing and Google Cracking Down on Illegal Downloads
There is a new plan by two of the major online search engines that will make it a lot more difficult for users to access music, live sporting events and other illegal content because piracy sites are quickly being demoted in the search results.
Both Bing and Google have decided to sign a code of practice that is directed towards not only keeping users from clicking on disreputable content websites, but is also aimed at keeping users safe.
This code will quickly lead to the acceleration of pirated sites being demoted, and this action is the first of its type in the United Kingdom.
Bing and Google currently allow content creators from around the world to request a link removal, and both search engines removed a combined one billion links in the first six months of 2016.
So, What Does This Mean for Internet Users?
In essence, when an online user searches for illegal downloads of eBooks, music videos, or football games, they will likely be redirected to a reputable content provider instead of a pirated site. Protecting users’ safety is the main goal of this new plan.
The Alliance for Intellectual Property knows that many times when an individual is searching for something, they will unwittingly come across a website that contains pirated content. With this new code in place, only genuine sites will be located at the top of search results. It is a win-win for both the creators of the content as well as Internet users.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is unique physical content. This means that an idea is not considered intellectual property. For example, a song idea does not count. However, once you write down the words, those words are considered intellectual property.
You are the owner of intellectual property if:
- You purchased the intellectual property rights for content from the original owner
- You have a brand that is trademarked
- You created the content and it can be patented or copyrighted
It is also important to note that intellectual property can have multiple owners, can belong to a business or an individual and can be legally transferred or sold to someone else. When a person uploads content illegally to their website, they are in violation of these requirements.
The IPO (Intellectual Property Office)
The IPO is a governing agency in the United Kingdom that is solely responsible for protecting the intellectual property of creators. This includes:
The agency, along with the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sports), led the discussions that resulted in the creation of the code.
A detailed examination of how search results are shown to online users was completed, and metrics and techniques were also explored that can be put into place to help users avoid being exposed to illegal content.
Other Anti-Piracy Measures
The code will go into effect and operate beside other anti-piracy laws that are already in place. Some of these measures include the Get It Right from A Genuine Site. This is an education campaign for consumers aimed at encouraging the public to value and understand how the creative process works.
The code was unanimously agreed on in February 2017, and immediately went into effect. The visibility of sites violating the code will be drastically reduced by June 2017.