We’re not expecting the arguments between rightsholders and Google over the latter’s anti-piracy efforts to die down in 2014. But while the search engine’s perceived sluggishness in downgrading pirate sites continues to frustrate the creative industries, Google is making moves in other areas. Witness this month’s flurry of removals from its Chrome web store – the place people can go to download extensions for the Chrome web browser. Several extensions enabling people to search torrent sites have been removed, with Google telling their developers that “we don’t allow products or services that violate third-party terms of service, or products or services that encourage, facilitate, or enable the unauthorised access, download, or streaming of copyrighted content or media”. Cue anger from some of the affected developers, who maintain that torrent search extensions are just search engines in their own right, capable of looking for legal and unlicensed content alike. “Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t Google’s own search bar on their front page do exactly the same thing they are accusing us of?” one developer tells TorrentFreak. “We hope Google realises that they are in fact the biggest torrent indexer in the world.” He shouldn’t worry: music bodies are reminding Google of that on a daily basis with takedown requests.

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