Rightsholders criticising search engines – mainly Google – for returning links to piracy sites in search results isn’t a new thing. But there is a new frontier for it in Russia this month, after local search engine Yandex was sent a strongly-worded letter signed by a group of entertainment-industry bodies – with Google to receive a similar missive soon too.
The letter, sent on 8 June, accused Yandex of contributing to the growth of online piracy in Russia, according to newspaper Vedomosti. “We urge Yandex to use all available methods to detect illegal content and remove it from both the search results and from applications and services of Yandex,” wrote the rightsholder bodies, which included the National Federation of the Music Industry.
“Those funds that could be reinvested into the industry through the dissemination of legal content flow to illegal distributors… who use the active promotion of the search engine Yandex.” For its part, Yandex – which has a licensed music service of its own, remember – argues that it already cooperates with rightsholders.