French court says Bing and Google do not have to censor torrent results


The High Court of Paris has come to a decision that search engines like Bing and Google do not have to censor torrent results. The court concluded that a censor of torrent results would be too wide and also adversely affect legitimate torrent uses. The French industry music group, Syndicat National de l’édition Phonographique (SNEP), brought the matter before the high court to curb music piracy. Torrent sites have become a popular method of sharing not only legitimate files but for sharing copyrighted material as well. The entertainment industry does all that it can to battle the sharing of those files. In this case though, the industry lost its case to censor search engine results.

Before the High Court of Paris the music group argued that, when paired with the artist names, “torrent” related searches predominantly link to pirated content. To counter this, they demanded a filter that would block (censor) results for these searches for the keyword “torrent,” as well as websites that include the same word in their domain name. While French law permits far-reaching anti-piracy measures, it also states that it’s necessary to preserve the rights of individual Internet users, such as freedom of expression and communication. An overbroad filtering scheme would go against this principle.

Many argue that the entertainment industry should end their fight to censor or stop the sharing of copyrighted material for a couple of reasons. Firstly, most individuals who torrent end up paying for the material one way or another. Whether it’s buying a legitimate copy or paying for a live showing of the material. Second, no matter how many stop gaps are put into play, people will always find ways around them.

What do you think of the High Court of Paris’s decision? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  Source: Torrent Freak


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