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Google delists web-blocked stream-ripping sites in the UK

By | Published on Monday 5 September 2022


Google has removed a number of stream-ripping websites from its UK search results, or so reports Torrentfreak. The web giant made the move following contact from record label trade group BPI, which pointed out that the targeted sites are already subject to web-blocking in the UK.

Stream-ripping – services that allow people to turn temporary streams into permanent downloads – has been a top piracy gripe of the music industry for sometime. Various lawsuits and threats of lawsuits have been thrown at the operators of such services, meanwhile last year the BPI managed to get some web-blocking injunctions against some stream-ripping set-ups.

Web-blocking, of course, is where copyright owners secure injunctions ordering internet companies – usually internet service providers – to block their customers from accessing certain sites which are accused of facilitating copyright infringement.

One of the limitations of web-blocking is that, even once a piracy service is blocked, it can be quite easy for people to find alternative ways of accessing such services with a simple Google search. To that end, copyright owners have often called on Google to do more to help ensure web-blocking orders can be enforced.

Google has traditionally been even more resistant than the ISPs to the idea that it should be more proactive in limiting access to piracy sites, although it has, on a few previous occasions, voluntarily delisted from its search engine sites that are subject to web-blocks in various countries.

According to Torrentfreak, the BPI and collecting society PPL recently asked Google to delist from its search engine the web-blocking sites that were included in the web-blocking injunction it secured last year. And Google has seemingly voluntarily complied with that request, albeit only within the UK.