As a follow-up on what we reported last week, Google and Bing have come to a voluntary agreement with the UK government to demote websites in UK search results which provide links to download copyright infringing content.
When the story was initially reported, it was estimated that the anti-piracy code would come into effect by June 1st. Now it’s coming into effect much sooner than anticipated.
The Telegraph confirms the UK will be keeping a watchful eye on Google and Bing with respect to the results they surface for websites that allow users to download illegal content. According to the UK news outlet, this agreement has been in the works for years:
”The agreement follows years of campaigning by record labels and film studios, which have accused Google and Microsoft of turning a blind eye to piracy and dragging their feet over measures to protect copyright online.”
The agreement involves implementing a code which will prevent websites that have been repeatedly served with copyright infringement notices from appearing on the front page of search results. In addition, autocomplete suggestions which could lead searchers to pirated will also be removed.
The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will monitor how Google and Bing comply with the code over the coming months. Further action may be taken per the IPO’s recommendations.