Search engines will de-index any domains that have more than 100 links to pirated content *TorrentFreak

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Major rights holders and internet companies in Russia have signed a new memorandum of cooperation designed to make pirated movies, TV shows and other content harder to find. In addition to automatically removing reported infringing links within hours, search engines have agreed to completely de-index any domains that contain 100 or more links to infringing content.

Tackling sites that mass-distribute links to infringing content is a time-consuming activity for rights holders. Many believe there should be more cooperation from the tech sector to lighten the load and in Russia that certainly seems to be happening.

Signed in 2018, a memorandum of cooperation signed by major rights holders and internet companies, including Yandex, changed the way infringing content is handled.

Following the creation of a centralized database of pirated content, internet companies pledged to poll it every few minutes in order to remove the corresponding content from their platforms within six hours. Over a three-year period, more than 40 million infringing links were removed from search results.

Since its introduction, the memorandum has been renewed several times alongside calls for the system to be opened up to a wider range of rights holders, such as those operating in the publishing sector. Although not yet, a new memorandum has just been signed by the original signatories containing an even more powerful anti-piracy tool.

Search engines agree to de-index entire domains

Under the current agreement (which is due to expire in early September 2022), rightsholders must submit URLs specific to infringing content to the centralized database controlled by the Media Communications Union (ISS). These specific URLs are then removed by search engines, but rightsholders complain that the same content can reappear under a new URL, meaning the process has to be repeated.

To deal with this type of “pirate” countermeasure, the new memorandum obliges research companies to take stricter measures. Any domain with 100 or more “pirate” links flagged in the database will be completely de-indexed by search engines, meaning it essentially becomes invisible to anyone using a search engine. This must also be done quickly, within 24 hours according to ISS.

Given the number of links to infringing content published on non-pirating sites, protective measures will also be introduced to protect legitimate resources from de-indexation. These include media sites, government projects, search engines themselves, social networks and official content providers.

“Removing domains of malicious pirate sites from search results will be a major step forward in the fight against digital piracy, which will significantly optimize copyright holders’ costs to protect their rights and contribute to the growth of legal consumption. videos,” says Mikhail. Demin, President of the Media and Communications Union.

Rightsholders want new memorandum enshrined in law

Along with the drafting of the memorandum, a new law is being drafted, with the aim of enshrining its voluntary provisions into local law. This should allow other rights holders who are not currently signatories to obtain similar benefits. As of this writing, however, progress on the legal front is taking its time and could still take a few months.

“The validity of the current version of the memorandum has been extended until September 1, 2022, and we strongly hope that at that time a law will be passed to consolidate the provisions of the memorandum,” Demin said.

“The application of the updated version of the agreement will begin immediately after the adoption and entry into force of the law based on the provisions of the Memorandum. We are confident that through the constructive dialogue that has developed at the ISS site, the industry community will be able to come up with many more effective anti-piracy initiatives.

The current participants in the memorandum are:

JSC “Channel One”
STS media
JSC Gazprom-Media Holding
JSC National Media Group
Association of Film and Television Producers
Association “Video on the Internet”
Yandex LLC Group
Rambler Group
GPM LLC Partner
LLC “Roform”
LLC “Kinopoisk”
Animated Film Association

Rosemary S. Bishop