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Google urged to take lead in fighting online piracy

31 May 2014

The first action against online piracy should be taken by search engines such as Google, said UK prime minister David Cameron's intellectual property advisor in a report on online piracy.

MP Mike Weatherley's report included several recommendations that business secretary Vince Cable could include in the fight against online piracy, including blocking the ad funding used to keep pirate websites active.

He added, the fight back needed to start with search engines, particularly Google, to stop people accessing pirated content in the first place.

"Search engines can and must use the resources available to them in order to safeguard the UK's creative industries. Piracy remains the biggest threat to the growth of digital commerce. If we want the UK to continue to be a leader in creativity and innovation, the UK must also be an international leader of intellectual property rights protection," Weatherley said.

"As the main provider of search facilities in the UK it is widely felt that Google should take the lead in setting responsible industry standards for search," he continued.

Apart from working with search engines to prevent illegal content being surfaced, Weatherley said consumers needed to be educated about piracy by including "warning marks" and putting legitimate download sources at the top of search results.

The report highlighted that consumers be inadvertently led by consumers to pirated content.

However he also said that no single player could solve the piracy problem, saying it was "inaccurate, unrealistic and a diversion" to focus on Google and search engines such as Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo as the only solution.

According to a Google spokesman the internet giant invested much in anti-piracy measures.

Google was committed to tackling piracy and the internet search giant's action was industry-leading he said.

He added, the company invested tens of millions of pounds in technology to tackle piracy and last month alone, the company removed over 23 million links to infringing content.

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