More details surrounding the voluntary anti-piracy agreement between Google, Bing, and major rightsholders have emerged. In addition to efforts to mitigate pirate sites’ efforts to jump domains to avoid downranking, the search engines will “exchange detailed information” with rightsholders “on a confidential basis” in order to better understand how users are searching for content.
Following roundtable discussions between the BPI, Motion Picture Association, Alliance for IP, plus representatives of Google and Bing, in February a voluntary anti-piracy agreement was announced.
Under this anti-piracy code, search engines agreed to further optimize their algorithms to demote pirated content in search results, with the aim of making infringing content less visible and legal alternatives easier to find.
As highlighted last month, details of the arrangement were planned to remain largely secret but thanks to a pair of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests from both the EFF and TJ McIntyre from Digital Rights Ireland, we now have a somewhat clearer idea of what will be happening between the groups.
As expected, the main focus is the search deranking of sites “dedicated to infringement” based on the volume of valid DMCA-style notices rightsholders send to Google. In other words, sites that index a majority of infringing content and are subjected to a lot of rightsholder complaints will find their results buried.