French court orders Microsoft and others to block 16 sites from its search results

Online piracy of content such as movies continues to be a huge issue for not just the makers of films but also for search sites like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's own Bing service that can sometimes offer links to pirate pages in their search results. This week, a French court has ordered all three of these companies to block links to 16 sites from their search pages that offer pirated movie content via video streaming.

The High Court of Paris gave their ruling on Thursday, according to French-based PCinpact, which ended a case that began nearly two years ago, when a number of French film distributors and producers teamed up to file a complaint about the 16 sites. In this week's decision, the court agreed with the film industry groups that the sites in question were "dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators."

The court stated that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft must "take all necessary measures to prevent the occurrence on their services of any results referring to any of the pages." Those companies now have two weeks to remove those sites from their search engines, assuming they don't appeal the decision. A number of French ISPs must also block access to those sites. However, none of those companies will be charged any money to block those sites, a measure that the film companies wanted but were denied by the court.

Source: PCinpact via TorrentFreak
Online piracy image via Shutterstock

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Interview: IdeaPress talks about turning WordPress blogs into apps

Next Story

From The Forums: Neowin readers offer their Xbox One impressions

16 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

So many people admitting they pirate in the comments, it's against Neowins rules everyone

Don't get banned

in my country everyone is downloading torrents, even people 45+
and its a normal thing, some not very computer-literate dont even realize that its illegal

Saex_Conroy said,
in my country everyone is downloading torrents, even people 45+
and its a normal thing, some not very computer-literate dont even realize that its illegal

But those people know how to save money

i download torrents too, but im thinking that people who use torrents, dont appreciate what they download, as much as they would if they bought it, because it comes down to psychology

contrary to that, ive played World of Warcraft on private servers since 2007 and i still love it

I'm not to familiar with matters such as this. Do these three companies have to comply? Can they say kiss my $$$ and go on about their merry way? What are the repercussions?

JHBrown said,
I'm not to familiar with matters such as this. Do these three companies have to comply? Can they say kiss my $$$ and go on about their merry way? What are the repercussions?

If you want to provide a service France, then you have to follow the law in France. In this case, the law is saying you can't list these sites in your search engine.

Like any company, they have to comply or face legal challenges. These could amount to a simple fine, a ban on the companies product/services in France or indeed someone ending up in jail.

Since it's the big players here and everyone needs a search engine, the chances are slim that anything more then a fine will be the repercussion, since near all the 'video streaming' sites are sites that link to other sites providing the streaming anyway.. much like the search engines link to the same sites anyway. The difference is the 'video' sites are showing intent by providing only illegal (under French Law) video for streaming.

One could argue that with all the DMCA take down notices Google gets for YouTube alone, they're more prolific then dedicated video streaming sites ... but of course, no one will ask YouTube to be removed from the internet, right ?

Would seem to be an unenforceable ruling. Being asked to "blanket" block a number of sites because there "might" be some (unspecified) copyright movies on them.

I'd be surprised if Microsoft and Google did NOT appeal the case

The article says the sites in question are "dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators." That's very different from what you're saying.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if sites like these are losing popularity. Whether you're watching it in theaters, bought the movie for yourself, renting it with Redbox, paying for a subscription like Netflix, or watching it for free with ads/commercials, these are so many ways to get a movie now. Hell, I don't even remember the last time I watched a movie illegally.

Pluto is a Planet said,
The article says the sites in question are "dedicated or virtually dedicated to the distribution of audiovisual works without the consent of their creators." That's very different from what you're saying.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if sites like these are losing popularity. Whether you're watching it in theaters, bought the movie for yourself, renting it with Redbox, paying for a subscription like Netflix, or watching it for free with ads/commercials, these are so many ways to get a movie now. Hell, I don't even remember the last time I watched a movie illegally.

But you also have to remember, majority of those services are limited to the US, Canada and sometimes the UK. That leaves a LOT of the planet unable to access movies legally and easily. Create a way to do so, you remove most piracy.

"Those companies now have two weeks to remove those sites from their search engines"

Or what? You'll wave the white flag again?

In all seriousness tho, the film and music companies should start keeping up with the times and work out a new system, a cheaper system for people. Hell, a DVD costs €40 here, are you kidding me? Stop fighting the battle you can't win and start thinking of a new way to improve.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
I'm too cheap? I make around €500 a month, 320 on rent plus taxes and so forth so yeah, sorry if I'm resistant to pay 40 for a ***** DVD. (Minimum here is €300)

Pay no attention to Spicoli. He's probably a bot of MPAA/RIAA. Just look at his post history.