Google has announced this week that it is taking a stand against piracy. Perhaps this is good news, or perhaps it’s ‘censorship gone mad’ – that depends on your personal view of piracy and copyright theft. But what exactly is it that Google has done, and will it really make any difference?
A few days ago, if you typed ‘Avatar torrent’ into Google’s search box, two things would happen. Firstly the drop down list of suggested searches would include ‘Avatar torrent’ as soon as you started typing. The second thing to happen would be that Google’s instant search results would quickly direct you towards websites which offer such illegal downloads.
So what Google has done is to block certain keywords from appearing in its drop down list of search suggestions, as well as stopping its instant search results from suggesting or including links to such websites.
However, this might on the surface seem like a reasonably fair step, but in practice it makes no difference at all, since all you need to do is to type ‘Avatar torrent’ in full, hit ‘Enter’, and you’ll be presented with 31 million results.
It seems Google wants to be seen to be having a positive influence on the morality of users, whilst making quite sure that its advertising revenue in no way suffers through limiting access to popular websites.
What do you think? Should Google do more to prevent piracy, or at least preventing people from being so easily directed to locations where they can be tempted to download illegal content? Is it Google’s responsibility at all? Have your say – leave us a comment and let us know what you think.