Google and Microsoft's Bing have teamed up British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Motion Picture Association to ensure that websites with infringing content rank low in their search results in the UK. BPI represents the UK's recorded music industry.
In simpler terms, users in UK, henceforth, will find it difficult to download pirated films and music, and illegally stream sport events. This move is in support of a voluntary code of practice sanctioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). As a part of this code, which the government department termed as "landmark" agreement in a statement, creative industries would work together to stop consumers being navigated to copyright infringing websites.
The code is in force immediately, and sets targets for reducing the visibility of infringing content in search results by 1 June 2017.
"Search engines play a vital role in helping consumers discover content online. Its relationship with our world leading creative industries needs to be collaborative," said Jo Johnson, UK minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation, in a press release.
He explained that consumers are increasingly heading online for music, films, e-books, and a wide variety of other content. "It is essential that they are presented with links to legitimate websites and services, not provided with links to pirate sites," he added.
"BPI has long campaigned for search engines to do more to ensure fans are directed to legal sources for music or other entertainment. There is much work still to do to achieve this," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and BRIT Awards. He explained that although the code will not be a "silver bullet fix", it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site.