We’ve got some bad news for pirate sites. Google has agreed to remove 832 pirate sites from its search results after reaching a voluntary agreement with content owners and ISPs in Australia. People residing in Australia will now have a hard time finding pirate sites hosting copyrighted material.
This unprecedented step of de-indexing ISP-blocked websites is a major victory for copyright owners. Will Google finally pick a side and become their ally in fighting piracy? Read on to find out.
Google de-indexes 832 pirate sites in Australia
Disputes between copyright owners (led by giants such as Hollywood) and pirate sites have been going on and off for a long time, but pirate sites always find ways to sneak their way back online. With Google’s move to de-index 832 pirate sites in Australia, a new age might dawn that will see content owners finally getting their victory over privacy sites.
Here’s how it all came down:
- Long-time coming: In 2015, the Australian Parliament introduced a new amendment known as “Section 115a,” also known as the “Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015.” This allowed copyright holders to apply for court injunctions that would advise local ISPs to block the access to certain pirate sites.
- Pirate sites bouncing back: Since 2015, the legislation has been used multiple times to block pirate sites. These pirate sites, however, were able to bounce back by creating mirror sites, installing alternative domains, and using proxies to circumvent the blockades.
- Google took the blame: Google remained a neutral party as copyright owners battled online piracy. While Google has nothing to do with these actions, it was largely criticized for allowing users to carry out searches and find pirated content easily.
Google still didn’t switch sides here. What Google did was to change its policy against pirated content and took a more proactive role. Along with a new copyright legislation recently adopted by Australia in November 2018, Google tackled the piracy issue from a different angle.
This angle is going to force everyone in Australia wanting to do P2P/torrenting to first, know where pirate sites are by using our list of the best torrent sites, and then use a VPN which allows torrenting. Here are two we suggest:
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New Australian legislation proved to be effective
The 2015 amendment contained loopholes that were exploited by piracy sites. By using mirror sites and deploying alternative domain names, piracy sites can still operate despite being blocked by ISPs.
The new law adopted in November 2018, currently known as “Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018,” is expected to shape the future a little differently:
- The new legislation allowed copyright holders to expand their blocks without having to go to court. This new legislation also obliges search engines, such as Google, to remove links related to these sites from their search query.
- Google responded by voluntarily de-indexing 832 pirate sites from its search results in the territory of Australia.
Even though the new legislation didn’t necessarily target Google, the giant search engine decided to take a course of action and de-index 832 pirate sites. This saved copyright holders the trouble of exercising a time-consuming practice of going to court.
What does all of this mean for Australian Internet users?
It is clear that the future is now uncertain for piracy sites in Australia. After Google made its move, we don’t expect to see piracy sites operating on Australian soil anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean Australian users can’t access restricted sites (including piracy sites) from elsewhere:
- Choosing a quality VPN is one of the best ways to overcome content restrictions and access blocked sites. By choosing a top-quality VPN, your privacy will be held intact, as well as your security and anonymity. This means that you can still access blocked sites from Australia in a completely private and anonymous way.
- VPNs are perfectly legal to use in Australia. The best VPNs will allow you to access restricted websites by changing your virtual location and IP address.
Keep in mind that you get to enjoy the perks of a VPN by choosing only the top VPNs in the industry. Lucky for you, we have already reviewed the best Australian VPNs. This list will be helpful, but be sure to read our review and see that they allow for P2P or torrenting on their service.