It may be entirely against the law, but piracy is nevertheless a truly big business these days. Most people that take part in P2P sharing aren’t really out to make any money, but simply to let other individuals access their music and film files in an approach that infringes copyright law. At the same time however, there will always be those people who are making quite a lot of money from piracy websites, often by making a killing in advertising revenues.
Suffice to say, it’s an issue a huge number of authorities, artists and businesses all over the world have been trying to resolve for years. The slight problem being that as it’s literally as simple as switching on your computer and visiting the websites in question, that is exactly what millions of individuals are doing on a daily basis.
Nonetheless, that could all be set to change as both Bing and Google have signed up to a new code of practice, following talks with the representatives of the entertainment industry and the British government. The two major search engines will begin demoting piracy sites in order to reduce their exposure and avoid promoting them indirectly.
The new agreement was reached in discussions brokered by the government’s Intellectual Property Office and representatives from the film and music industry. The agreement also received the support of British telecommunications regulator Ofcom, which is looking for projects and programmes that can actively discourage users from accessing sites that assist copyright infringement.
One of the biggest issues has always been the way such websites plead innocence, citing the fact that they themselves do not in fact share or host any of the files directly. They just make it easier for peers to get connected and share their files illegally.
The initiative will be watched over by the minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation, Jo Johnson, who called attention to the need for on-going collaboration in order to successfully tackle the growing piracy problem.
“Search engines play a vital role in helping consumers discover content online,” said Johnson. “It is essential that they are presented with links to legitimate websites and services, not provided with links to pirate sites,”
“I am very pleased that the search engines and representatives of the creative industries have agreed this code. I look forward to this valuable collaboration benefiting both the UK’s digital and creative sectors,”
Additionally, digital and culture minister Matt Hancock declared that the United Kingdom needs to fulfil its responsibility by both setting the right example and ensuring that consumers and businesses alike are protected.
“Pirate sites deprive artists and rights holders of hard-earned income and I’m delighted to see industry-led solutions like this landmark agreement which will be instrumental in driving change,” he said.
“As we build a more global Britain we want the UK to be the most innovative country to do business, and initiatives such as this will ensure our creative and digital economies continue to thrive.”