Jeremy Hunt calls on Google to downgrade piracy website search return listings


Jeremy Hunt calls on Google to downgrade piracy website search return listings

Warwick Ashford

The UK government is to call on search engines such as Google, advertisers and credit card companies to join the fight against online piracy.

These organisations should take reasonable steps against websites that openly infringe copyright, UK's secretary of state for culture, media and sport, Jeremy Hunt, is expected to say on Wednesday.

If the online industry fails to heed the call, the government is considering legislation to enforce action in the coming Communications Bill, according to the Financial Times.

Jeremy Hunt's call to action is expected to come in a speech to the Royal Television Society's Cambridge Convention.

A draft of Hunt's speech emphasises the UK government's determination to make it difficult to access sites that deliberately facilitate copyright infringement.

The government wants search engines such as Google to push unlawful sites down search result listings to throttle revenues from advertising or payments to make the sites unviable.

This approach comes just weeks after the government decided existing legislation to block copyright-infringing websites was unworkable.

However, observers say the new tactics are likely to be met with opposition by advocates of an open internet who seek to safeguard freedom of speech and market competition.

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