Google and Microsoft’s Bing have signed up to a voluntary code of practice in the U.K. to make it more difficult for British internet users to find illegally streamed movies, music, and sport broadcasts.
The tech companies will ensure transgressing websites are demoted in search results.
The deal between entertainment trade bodies, including the Motion Picture Assn. and music industry body the BPI, and the search engines was brokered by the British government’s Intellectual Property Office.
Eddy Leviten, director general at entertainment biz organization the Alliance for Intellectual Property, said: “Sometimes people will search for something and they will end up unwittingly being taken to a pirated piece of content.
“What we want to ensure is that the results at the top of the search engines are the genuine ones. It is about protecting people who use the internet, but also protecting the creators of that material too.”
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said: “The code will not be a silver bullet fix, but it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site.”
Stan McCoy, European chief for the Motion Picture Assn., said: “Pirate websites are much too easy to find via search, so we appreciate the parties’ willingness to try to improve that situation. We look forward to working on this initiative alongside many other approaches to fighting online piracy.”