A new agreement in the UK will make it harder for internet users to search for illegally streamed sports, movies and music.
Search engines Google and Bing have signed a new voluntary code of practice drawn up by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) with the help of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It means illegal streams will be pushed further down the search results.
Eddy Leviten, director general at 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.”
In practice the code should mean consumers are more likely to be presented with options from those licensed to distribute the content.
“Pirate websites are currently much too easy to find via search, so we appreciate the parties’ willingness to try to improve that situation,” said Stan McCoy, of the Motion Picture Association in Europe.
Research commissioned by the IPO estimates 15% – approximately 6.7 million UK consumers – consumed at least one piece of illegal content between March and May 2016.