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Piracy Google Microsoft United Kingdom Entertainment

Google and Microsoft To Crackdown On Piracy Sites In Search Results (telegraph.co.uk) 104

Google and Microsoft pledged on Monday to crack down on sites hosting pirated content that show up on their search engines. In what is being called a first of its kind agreement, Google and Microsoft's Bing will demote U.K. search results of copyright infringing websites. From a report on The Telegraph: The search engine operators have signed up to a clampdown that will see the UK's copyright watchdog monitor the search results they provide for unlawful websites. 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. Under a new voluntary code, the tech giants have committed to demote websites that have repeatedly been served with copyright infringement notices, so that they do not appear on the first page for common searches.
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Google and Microsoft To Crackdown On Piracy Sites In Search Results

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  • DuckDuckGo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:12PM (#53900377)

    This should pump up traffic to DuckDuckGo.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Does anyone really bother using Google for piracy anyway? There are plenty of dedicated search engines for BitTorrent and file lockers that provide better results.

      • Lumen Database (Score:5, Interesting)

        by quenda ( 644621 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @09:05PM (#53903175)

        Google is so Alta Vista now.

        Lumen Database is now the king of piracy search engines. [lumendatabase.org]
        Just enter the movie/song title into the search box and see all the DMCA complaints, which list all the URLs for that movie.
        Let the MPAA and RIAA do all the hard indexing work for you. Thanks guys!

        example: here are 300 ways to get The Force Awakens. [lumendatabase.org] Good job team.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        the idea is to demote links to such search engines.

        the companies who provide this service to the media companies are lazy as fuck, so what they care is just sending a few per week to the same sites that are on the first page of results. they bill by the amounts served and bill high and just do it enough.

        case in point how it works on youtube - you can find common movies and tv shows from major networks if you just bother to type in the names. the folks SELLING this service to the media companies DO NOT EVEN

        • Heh, sometimes you can (briefly) find things that are quite hard to find elsewhere.

          A couple of years ago I really wanted to rewatch the short-lived Flash series from the 1990s. It was a single season series but I had loved it as a kid - and it had been cancelled for being too expensive to make, not for lack of quality (it was actually quite good and it's normal criminals mostly approach was an early precursor to the hit superhero shows we have now).
          Only trouble is - I couldn't find it. No torrents anywhere.

    • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

      Brilliant! You know duckduckgo just relays results from other search engines, do you?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is fantastic news! Does anyone know where I can find the current Google/Microsoft price sheet for result filtering?

    I don't like it when people talk about religion or green cars (hate, hate HATE the colour green). How much would it cost to have Google protect people from search results relating to religion or green cars?

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      The problem I have here isn't if they block something that's bad, but who gets to decide whether something is.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        The U.S. Congress decided way back in 1790 that copyright infringement is "something that's bad".

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          The U.S. Congress decided way back in 1790 that copyright infringement is "something that's bad".

          Yes, but who gets decide whether something really is a copyright infringement or not? Someone with an economical interest?
          That's the problem I see here.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            The following assumes the jurisdiction of the home country of Google, Microsoft, and Slashdot:

            who gets decide whether something really is a copyright infringement or not?

            The U.S. Constitution grants the power to define copyright infringement to Congress within the limits of the First Amendment. Congress has created statutory limits on copyright, some specific and others largely left up to the judicial branch.

            Someone with an economical interest?

            Is the issue a conflict of interest arising from congressional election campaign finance and in-kind donations of positive publicity [pineight.com]?

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              The U.S. Constitution grants the power to define copyright infringement to Congress within the limits of the First Amendment. Congress has created statutory limits on copyright, some specific and others largely left up to the judicial branch.

              But congress isn't going to decide on whether any web site is in violation or not.

              • left up to the judicial branch.

                But congress isn't going to decide on whether any web site is in violation or not.

                True; Congress lets the courts sort that out.

                As for whether a site is tied closely enough to infringement to deserve demotion, the featured article doesn't give the complete algorithm, but it does take into account notices of claimed infringement: "the tech giants have committed to demote websites that have repeatedly been served with copyright infringement notices." I assume these are the same notices of claimed infringement that Google forwards to Lumen Database, particularly those pursuant to 17 USC 512.

                • by arth1 ( 260657 )

                  As for whether a site is tied closely enough to infringement to deserve demotion, the featured article doesn't give the complete algorithm, but it does take into account notices of claimed infringement: "the tech giants have committed to demote websites that have repeatedly been served with copyright infringement notices." I assume these are the same notices of claimed infringement that Google forwards to Lumen Database, particularly those pursuant to 17 USC 512.

                  That's what worries me. The ones who claim infringement are also those with a monetary reason to restrict others, including those who aren't really infringing but just close to it, and bad for their business.

                  Until and unless there are serious repercussions for incorrect takedown notices that impacts the one sending the notice as much, relative to their business, as the notice would impact the one hit by it, I see more problems than solutions.
                  If I made my livelihood on selling sheet music for my own songs,

                  • If I made my livelihood on selling sheet music for my own songs, a handful of incorrect takedown notices that bumped me off Google would be devastating to my business

                    Likewise for a handful of incorrect notices of claimed infringement sent to your ISP. You can sue the bastards for defamation of title [wikipedia.org] unless the claim is that your own song is substantially similar to one of their own.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe some people should learn a thing or two from the music industry and offer a fully working better alternative

    Netflix makes it so easy to watch television but still these people break it.
    Behind my geo-wall I only get about 36% of the USA catalog (~1100 vs ~400) but my 'rent' is similar.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:25PM (#53900465)

    Maybe I will in the future directly go to the second and not even check the first page at all...

    • Why not switch to duckduckgo?

      • by Kergan ( 780543 )

        DDG was ok for generic queries but sucked ass last I tried it for anything technical. Has it improved substantially since the Snowden revelations for day to day programming queries?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Funnily, after reading your comment I looked on my secondary monitor and I see a bunch of tabs in my browser with programming queries on DDG. I can't say whether DDG improved since I wasn't using it back in the day. But I have been happy with it ever since I switched a few months ago to the point that I never feel the need to hit google or bing.

        • I mostly use it to search for things censored by google and friends, and for that it does a better job than them.

        • DDG was ok for generic queries but sucked ass last I tried it for anything technical. Has it improved substantially since the Snowden revelations for day to day programming queries?

          To me, the do-not-track benefit of DDG outweighs the occasionally poor search results. So I always search DDG first. If I don't find what I'm looking for in the first page or two of results, then I rerun the search in Google. And that includes both geeky queries and non-geeky queries.

    • Nearly every day I have to put quotes around the words in my searches because Google just plain ignores them (they show up crossed out). If you search too quickly with specific terms they think you're a bot and get a captcha.

    • Maybe I will in the future directly go to the second and not even check the first page at all...

      I turn off all of Google's misguided and inept attempts to be 'helpful', (suggestions, filtering, etc), and set the number of hits to 100 per page. I'd have it higher than that if I could. Scrolling is much easier and has better flow than paginating anyway. So my "first page" results are much more comprehensive than most people's anyway. Looking at Google results 10 hits at a time sucks ass - once you try it set to 100 per page, you'll never go back. Unless you're on a really slow connection...

  • uhhh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:28PM (#53900477)

    If they're removing them "now", what the hell were they doing before? Results are already riddled with DMCA takedown removed results. Google has been publishing the list of these removed URLs for years:

    https://www.google.com/transpa... [google.com]

    Also, FUN FACT. They're not doing what they say because they never do what they say. If they REALLY went after copyright infringing websites they'd take down:

      - Google+
      - Facebook
      - YouTube
      - Reddit
      - Twitter
      - Imgur

    Those places are FULL of copyrighted information and nobody bats an eye.

    • If they REALLY went after copyright infringing websites they'd take down [the major social media sites]

      Websites that have a takedown policy and enforce it are not "copyright infringing websites" per the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act of 1998, codified as 17 USC 512.

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        ...codified as 17 USC 512

        I forget. What does USC stand for and why would the UK care about it?

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          USC is United States Code, the primary set of statutes of the home country of both Google and Microsoft.

          As for operation within Britain, what British law gives search engines the right to cache copyrighted web pages and display snippets of copyrighted web pages in the first place?

    • Infringing the copyrights on works created by mere individuals doesn't matter; copyright only protects massively profitable corporations, you see.

  • In the UK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:37PM (#53900551)

    So the UK will get its own censored version of Google and Bing, like China. I'm sure they're proud of their new found greatness. Look at us, we can make Google do as we say. Yeah, you told them to shot you in the foot and they obliged. Idiots.

  • Nobody should have to suffer the terrible fate of using Microsoft products, not even software pirates or even literal pirates! #OnlyReadTheTitle ;)

  • Don't worry (Score:5, Funny)

    by HideyoshiJP ( 1392619 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:46PM (#53900603)
    Microsoft shouldn't worry. You wouldn't have been able to find those results with Bing anyway, much less anything you were actually searching for.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I was only there to search for directions on how to get away from there.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @12:56PM (#53900671)
    >> demote websites that have repeatedly been served with copyright infringement notices

    So...you're saying that we'll stop seeing YouTube results in Google searches?
  • I use ixquick because it doesn't track you but it still has the same problem as all the other alternative search engines.
    In the end they just go back to Google for the query. Remember the days when internet search engines were a dime a dozen and they all had different algorithms.
    That was nice.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since TM made it legal to snoop on my day and night I have been using an encrypted proxy.

    I usually proxy within the UK for speed ad BBC iPlayer. But I have proxied elsewhere - speeds wernt that bad.

    I'll just do that again if they take down Proxy Bunker UK.

  • Crackdown - WRONG (Score:3, Informative)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @01:19PM (#53900847)

    Grammar Nazi here. When used in this context, "crackdown" is actually separated into two words, that is, "crack down".

    If they're launching an initiative or describing a method or process , then it would be "Blah blah blah will institute a crackdown on piracy..."

    • And to head off the "any noun can be verbed!" and "language evolves, get over it!" guys ...

      If you're comfortable with "crackdowned" and "crackdowning" then by all means, feel free to use "crackdown" as a verb. But if you find yourself saying "cracked down" or "cracking down" then you must admit that the verb is two separate words: "crack down."

      See also: shutdown, backup, standby, etc.

  • That should put an end to copyright infringement once and for all!

    Well done to all involved!!
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @01:46PM (#53901071)

    "If it is not on Bing or Google, then we have effectively eliminated piracy. Great job everyone."

    Bonuses will be rewarded, a few more jobs at MS/Google to monitor piracy claims. Lawyers will creep away and chase something else.
    But most of all - piracy will be dead!

    OK, maybe not.
    It could curtail the casual infringer. It will not deter true pirates, or those who may operate in the gray areas.

    What is a gray area? I think there are many.
    I once pre-ordered a CD from a band I really liked who had a new album coming out, two months ahead of the release. Release day came, and went. It was in stores, but I didn't have mine yet. After a week, I downloaded it. Another week passed, and my CD showed up.

    I have purchased a DVD for my kids (many, actually) where I could not rip it to put on my media server. I was able to download it in less time that it would have taken to rip it.

    I have a Roku, and I also have Charter cable. For a lot of the Roku channels I just have to log in with my Charter account to get access. Pretty painless process. However, for some of the channels (like Comedy Central) this doesn't work because they list multiple Charter providers, none of which are mine. So I am out of luck for those channels. It's not that big of a deal to me, so I don't download those shows. But I could see how that could piss some people off and why they might seek out to download them.

  • I personally get my piracy information from CNN, BBC, Torrentfreak, and all the other media outlets who provide an itemised list of what the MAFIAA are targeting.

  • I had the money. I was willing to pay. I STILL have the money. And I would still be willing to pay. But it's too late.

    The MS store is broken, but it's even more broken (seemingly) if you are living outside of the US (as a U.S. citizen). I can log in to my MS account on both my computer(s) and my XBox(s). Cool. I want to simply buy a game. The wife won't let me buy an XBoxOne because we have every other system plus a gaming computer. Awesome. Fine. I'll just get the game on the computer, but the only way to

  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @06:03PM (#53902527)

    Media companies are colluding with the biggest search internet search engines to manipulate the data they return... the things they don't like go down (things that do not cost you and I money) and things they do like go up (things that used to cost you no money).

    Consider the vast troves of data these profit driven companies have amassed against us, and it becomes quite clear what is happening. They already know what you are going to be looking for on the net based on your past searches, cataloged interests, and other data sources (like your cell phone and bank account logs) With this new *procedure* you will be presented with results of your queries that best represent the interests of those who stand to take your money, or worse, monetize you as a product, and NOT data that best represents your searches.

    To put it another way,

    Today, research is synonymous with google. According to this, other entities are now going to manipulate your research findings based on their profit motive. Imagine the man in a suit manipulating the books you access at a public library, in an effort to get you to buy a few exclusive chapters. These chapters are freely available one shelf over, but the friendly curator makes sure you never see it.

    This is manipulation, it's censorship, and I bet, in a few years time, it will be accepted and embraced. scary times we live in.

    Publicly accessible information has now become publicly acceptable information.

  • These guys are about to get extremely popular.

    https://millionshort.com/

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