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.