Search engines like Google and Bing will not be forced to automatically block results for searches with music artists and the term ‘torrent’.
Music industry body SNEP was knocked back by the High Court of Paris in its effort to force search engines to implement such filters, having argued that when internet users search for an artist name plus ‘torrent’, the majority of results returned are for piracy sites. Yet the court disagreed. “SNEP’s requests are general, and pertain not to a specific site but to all websites accessible through the stated methods, without consideration for identifying or even determining the site’s content, on the premise that the term ‘Torrent’ is necessarily associated with infringing content,” it ruled, according to TorrentFreak’s translation. “Yet it is primarily a common noun, with a meaning in French and English; it also refers to a neutral communication protocol developed by the company BitTorrent that enables access to lawfully downloaded files.” The counter-argument is that anyone searching for, say, ‘Drake torrent’ knows exactly which meaning of the word they want. Then again, it’s those users who would be most able to circumvent any filters.