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Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 42624, tabled on 13 July 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received on the potential merits of requiring search engines to change their algorithms to reduce the visibility of illegal streaming websites.

Answered on

2 August 2016

My noble Friend the Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, chairs regular roundtable meetings between the UK’s leading search engine providers, representatives of the music and film industries, and government officials.

Since the instigation of these roundtables, Google, Yahoo! and Bing have all taken steps to reduce the prominence of copyright infringing websites in their search results. These steps have included algorithm changes as well as changes to the autocomplete suggestions offered to users.

The discussions are supported by research undertaken by OFCOM which has shown a decrease in the prominence of the most infringing websites (as measured by the number of notifications Google have received about infringing content for those sites).