The UK government through the Intellectual Property Office is teaming up with the likes of Google and Microsoft to demote search for materials that could be violating copyright laws. To this end, the government has come up with a ‘Voluntary Code of Practice‘ which they say is dedicated to the removal of links to infringing content from the first page of search results. The guideline which takes effect immediately has received some serious endorsements in that Google, Microsoft’s Bing, British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Motion Picture Association have all signed up to implement the new regulations.
This means that Google could in fact demote search results to second or further pages if they think a website is known for copyright infringement and it may not matter whether they pay for first page ads.
But the UK government already works with ISPs to block suspected pirated sites even though it hasn’t gone as far they would have wanted. But working with the likes of Google and Microsoft which top the list of browser usage globally could go a long way in dealing with piracy on the internet.
This won’t be the first for Google though. In 2014, Google reported that it was processing about an average of one million removal requests per day from copyright holders. Jo Johnson who is the UK minister for universities, science, research and innovation will be in charge of implementing the new policy to combat copyright infringement on the internet.