In what UK lawmakers are calling a “landmark deal,” both Google and Microsoft pledged this week to crack down on sites hosting pirated content. Under a new “code of practice,” site who host material that breaks copyright laws will be removed from the first page of search results from Google and Bing.
The agreement was voluntary for both companies, and was brokered by the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office, the government agency that handles copyright issues. The British Phonographic Industry (which represents the U.K.’s music industry), the Motion Picture Association, and the Alliance for Intellectual Property were a part of the agreement as well.
As people who have their own blog know, web sites being demoted from the first page of search results is huge. It’s estimated that over 90% of people never venture past page one in search results. “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, who is the Motion Picture Association’s current president and managing director.