The fight between the film fraternity and piracy has always been a cat and a mouse game. At first, the film copyright holders force a torrent website to shut down, and simultaneously, another torrent website pops up in its place giving away free movies even before their release. This has become a perpetual cycle.
But Google has been very diligent towards curbing piracy to protect the intellectual property of copyright holders. According to an Australian media, Google has downranked 65,000 pirated websites globally and it continues to demote more each week.
This comes after Graham Burke, the chairman of Creative Content Australia, submitted a review to the Australian government pointing out 331,000 illegal downloads of Lion and 600,000 likely streams, describing it as a “direct loss of revenue to the production company and the tax office.”
Emile Sherman, director of the production company See-Saw Films who produced films like Lion and The Kings Speech, said, “we all know in the industry how bad piracy is but I didn’t have a sense of how enormous it has been for our film Lion and how damaging until I saw these numbers.”
The industry has always been vocal about Google not doing enough to completely eradicate piracy from the search engine. While associations like MPAA and RIAA want Google to remove the torrent websites, Google has been reluctant about removing whole websites since torrents are merely search engines and are not directly responsible.
But notices from association did prompt an action of downranking websites such that users don’t find any adequate listing in search results for “free movie download” or something along similar lines.
“Demotion results in sites losing around 90 percent of their visitors from Google Search,” a Google spokesperson said.