Google might have to filter piracy-related searches in France

By on July 19, 2012, 6:30 PM

Google might be required to filter filesharing-related search terms in France, pending a decision by the nation's Court of Appeal. In early 2010, French recording industry group SNEP sought legal action in an effort to have terms like "torrent," "Rapidshare" and "Megaupload" censored from the search provider's "Autocomplete" and "Instant" features -- a move made in the United States and other countries over a year ago.

Autocomplete tries to predict your search in real-time and provides suggested queries, while Instant automatically displays predicted results as you type. In both cases, organizations like SNEP argue that Google aids piracy. In one example noted by TorrentFreak, if a user types the name of a popular artist, the search engine might recommend piracy-related keywords, making it easier for them to find illegal content.

After failing to convince two lower courts, the French music group succeeded in the country's Supreme Court, which ruled that censoring keywords is a suitable approach to reducing online piracy. Although the Court determined that Google can't be held liable for infringements that occur on sites listed in its search results, it believes the company has a responsibility to make it harder for users to discover illegal material.

Filtering search terms such as "Pirate Bay" has proved to be effective in reducing the number of queries pertaining to the censored words, but it's hard to determine if this causes any quantifiable change in behavior. While Pirate Bay Google searches have been halved in some instances since last November, the torrent site said it hasn't been hurt by the change and it receives the same amount of traffic from Google.




User Comments: 15

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Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

So censorship then...gotcha.

bavon said:

How long before the software is available to find out who is Jewish becomes available?

Guest said:

censorships is just a wall right? the french build bad walls. for example the maginot line!

ramonsterns said:

censorships is just a wall right? the french build bad walls. for example the maginot line!

Excellent example.

"Godamit, who put this restriction here?"

"Who cares, let's just go around it."

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Liberty, Fraternity and... never mind...

Besides this is so stupid...like taking out autocomplete really changes the final effect.

"I want to download some French music and deprive some French artists and labels of money...I heard this Pirate Bay thingie may help me out....lets start using Google...P...Pi...Pir...nothing!...F-it, I give up, time to go to iTunes."

Guest said:

Seriously I don't understand how deep is the stupidity of people behind it. Do they really think that filtering sites like PB will stop P2P? I haven't visited PB for well pretty much as long as that supposedly wrong website exist. That didn't stopped me finding content which I want. Often without the need of a browser.

It is very funny when you look at fascist organizations like RIAA/MIAA. They only care about their own pockets, just like Italian/Russian/etc Mafia or Vatican Catholic Association of Pedophiles. If you want some (e.g.) Korean movie, Africa-whatever song, Chinese opera, etc.. then they couldn't care less, because they can't earn a bloody dime there. All what matters is US and parts of EU (thank lord only tiny part).

Guest said:

do not mistake law for the willingness to break it.

you are forbidden by law to steal a product from a store, but you could do it anyway (and face the penalty). you could see a locked door and break it down to go inside.

by blocking with google it's just a first line of "defense". the willingness to pirate stuff is related with the unlikeliness of facing penalties. People download (knowing it is illegal) because they get away with it.

But that does not mean governments should make it any easier even knowing you'll do it anyway.

If torrent sites were blocked completely and that kind of traffic locked down by law, there would still be ways of getting around it and people would do it. But in a much smaller "amount".

We have music and game sales for ridiculous prices nowadays, but faced between paying $1 for a legit copy or 0 for a pirated one, many people would, by "principle", get the 0 one. Because they can. And get away with it.

Guest said:

I am amazed by how many people assume that downloading copyrighted stuff for nothing is some kind of "right", and laws are just making it difficult for you...

hitech0101 said:

Maybe they should relax it for megaupload cuz u know and removing something from autocomplete doesn't quite stop it what are these people fighting for? And Who listens to french music?

Guest said:

Maybe they should relax it for megaupload cuz u know and removing something from autocomplete doesn't quite stop it what are these people fighting for? And Who listens to french music?

The french?

andy06shake said:

Google can filter my shite pipe!!!!

bring it on, there are allways other way and means!

Hack The Planet!

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"We have music and game sales for ridiculous prices nowadays, but faced between paying $1 for a legit copy or 0 for a pirated one, many people would, by "principle", get the 0 one. Because they can. And get away with it."

Please go get educated on the subject before making dumb assumptions.

"Well Supreme Court had done a proper judgment by restricting the unsuitable keywords. Surely this censorship will help in reducing piracy."

Censorship in ANY form is wrong. If you censor one thing then it becomes so much easier to censor something else later on down the road. Btw, spam advertise much? Your link has nothing to do with the topic, you have only made one post, so I'm betting you just want to spam your junk. Welcome to ignore.

Tygerstrike said:

@Andy

And thats why Google is having to do this. Ppl like you who think its your god given right to steal. 99% of ppl who pirate wouldnt go into a car dealership, look at a car, and just drive away with it. The only reason ppl do pirate is because of the percieved ease and lack of any sort of real punishment. Censership is only the begining.

Maybe, just maybe if the internet community would police itself, we wont see some of the draconian messures that the law makers are discussing in order to punish the ppl who pirate.

Just remember....everything you do is logged some how and some way. Eventually we will see govt agents kicking doors down at 3am to arrest ppl for data theft. Its only a matter of time. Unless we as ppl police ourselves. Stop pirating for awhile!!! Let the issue be glossed over by some other media event. Stop pirating long enough that law makers loose interest.

andy06shake said:

Dont charge me an arm and a leg for products that require constant updates and are essentially incomplete and substandard. "People like you" I find that racist! Fix the world and I might play fair until

then corporations and governments are fair game!!!! "People like you" WTF

When they come to my door, that will be the day! Bring it on Totalitarian paramilitary scum!!!

Guest said:

^^ Lol, 'racist', this term has become a joke because people like you (ha, I said it) throw it around to win any arguments where they cannot present a valid response.

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