British government and creative industries join hands with search engines to curb piracy
by Naman Ramachandran
- New Code to ensure that consumers will no longer be led to copyright infringing websites
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has helped broker an agreement that will see search engines and the creative industries work together to stop consumers being led to copyright infringing websites. Representatives from leading search engines, the creative industries and the IPO have developed a Voluntary Code of Practice dedicated to the removal of links to infringing content from the first page of search results. Effective immediately, the Code has set a 1 June target for reducing visibility of infringing content. Code signatories include search engine giants Google and Microsoft’s Bing, the Motion Picture Association and music body British Phonographic Industry.
Members of Alliance for IP umbrella that have indicated agreement to the Code include the Entertainment Retailers Association, British Brands Group, Film Distributors’ Association, Association of Authors Agents, British Brands Group, Premier League, Publishers Association and several others.
Jo Johnson, UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, will oversee the implementation of the Code and the IPO will work with all parties to evaluate progress.
Johnson said, “Search engines play a vital role in helping consumers discover content online. Their relationship with our world leading creative industries needs to be collaborative. Consumers are increasingly heading online for music, films, e-books, and a wide variety of other content. It is essential that they be presented with links to legitimate websites and services, not provided with links to pirate sites. I am very pleased that the search engines and representatives of the creative industries have agreed this Code. I look forward to this valuable collaboration benefiting both the UK’s digital and creative sectors.”
UK Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock, added, “We are one of the world’s leading digital nations, and we have a responsibility to make sure that consumers have easy access to legal content online. Pirate sites deprive artists and rights holders of hard-earned income and I’m delighted to see industry led solutions like this landmark agreement which will be instrumental in driving change. As we build a more global Britain we want the UK to be the most innovative country to do business, and initiatives like this will ensure our creative and digital economies continue to thrive.”
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