"Google should take the lead" in online piracy


David Cameron's intellectual property advisor has written a report about online piracy, saying the first actions should be taken by search engines such as Google.

MP Mike Weatherley's report includes a list of recommendations for business secretary Vince Cable to take onboard in the fight against online piracy, including blocking the ad funding used to keep such websites active.

He said the fight back should begin with search engines - Google in particular - 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.

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

Pirate sites should be removed from search results if a court order has been issued to the domain registrar, alerting them illegal activity and requesting they shut the site down.

Earlier in the week, Torrentz.eu was closed down. It's the latest website to be suspended as part of Operation Creative.

If Weatherley's plan comes to fruition, any content previously available on Torrentz.eu would be removed from search engines.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.