Google, Microsoft ordered to remove pirate sites from search results

Chris Smith
U.K. has a new punishment-free plan to turn download pirates into buyers [updated]

A French court on Thursday ordered Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to remove from search results 16 websites that host pirated media, in a case started in December 2011 by various French organizations and groups that protect the interests of entertainment companies such as Paramount and Sony. Local ISPs including Orange, Free, Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Numericable and Darty Telecom are also ordered to “implement all appropriate means including blocking” these websites, TorrentFreak reports.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and ISPs have two weeks to remove or block the 16 websites, which the court found to be in violation of copyright laws, as they’re “dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators.” The sites belong to the Allostreaming, Fifostream and DPstream video portals, and the measures against them must remain in place for 12 months.

In a similar manner, the U.K. government has recently expressed its interest in having Google block piracy sites in the country, just like it blocks child abuse images. Earlier this year, the search giant agreed to work with copyright owners against pirate sites, kicking off an initiative that would allow them to contact advertising agencies when ads are posted on sites hosting pirated content, in order to deprive these websites of ad-based revenues.

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