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Google’s online piracy crackdown is “step in right direction” but leaves a “bitter aftertaste” says ISBA

Google’s latest efforts to crack down on online piracy have received a mixed reaction from advertising trade body ISBA, which has called into question the search giant’s motives.

This week has seen Google step up its efforts to cut out online piracy, having previously received criticism for enabling people to find sites to download entertainment illegally.

It has now made changes to its algorithm to ensure that some of the more “notorious” piracy sites are less likely to appear high up when people search for music, films and other copyrighted content.

Instead, Google will surface legal sites to the top of the index, although these will be in the form of adverts, meaning content providers would need to pay to be placed there.

This latter part of the changes have been criticised by advertising trade body ISBA

Bob Wootton, ISBA’s director of Media and Advertising, said: “This is a step in the right direction but with Google seeking to profit directly by ‘being part of the solution’ spoils the sentiment and leaves a bitter aftertaste.

"The search engine’s solution clearly disadvantages legal sites. The fight against online piracy is of course welcomed by ISBA, but trying to make a profit out of it is surely not the way to go.”

To coincide with the announcement Google has released a report into the measures it has put in place.

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