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Pirate football and music sites face new crackdown

INTERNET users will find it harder to search for pirate websites that illegally stream live football matches, music and other creative material under a new strategy by search engines.

Google and Bing have signed up to a groundbreaking voluntary code of practice, backed by watchdog Ofcom, that will accelerate the demotion of illegal sites. It means those who search for content such as music videos, digital books and football coverage will be more likely to be taken to legitimate providers rather than pirate sites where their security may be at risk.

The Intellectual Property Office led talks to create the code along with government departments. A spokesman for the Alliance for Intellectual Property said: ‘Sometimes people will search for something and will end up unwittingly being taken to a pirated piece of content. We want to ensure that the results at the top of the search engines are genuine.

‘It is about protecting people who use the internet, but also protecting the creators of that material too.’