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Disney's New Patent: A Piracy Free Search Engine

Posted by: , 17:24 AEDT, Thu November 6, 2014

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New search engine design by Disney will include filter for "undesirable search results", and gives preference to "official" sources over popular sites
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Tired of waiting for search engines like Google to "clean up" their search index, Disney has patented a new type of search engine that will use an "authenticity metric" to determine how a web page ranks.

Traditional search engines rank web pages based on a variety of factors, including its popularity, the number of other websites that link to it, how users interact with the page, as well as the website's authority. This approach tends to favor websites that are well known and popular, and so while sites like the IMDb and Wikipedia may rank high for say search involving a movie's title, piracy related sites like The Pirate Bay can also rank high for the same reasons.

Google has tried to alleviate this problem by introducing penalty schemes for websites that have been identified as a potential piracy site (based on the number of copyright take-down requests the website has received), but Disney's patent plans to take this to the next level by focusing less on popularity and more on authenticity.

According to the patent awarded to Disney this week, the search engine will also include the "filtering of undesirable search results", but its authority based approach could also see sites like the IMDb and Wikipedia rank lower than say the movie's official website.

"The web page may be associated with an authenticity weight that is greater than the authenticity weight associated with the encyclopedia web page because is the official domain for The Walt Disney Company. As such, with respect to the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs™ film, the web page may be considered more authoritative (and thus more authentic) than the encyclopedia web page," Disney writes in the patent application.

While the patent has been awarded to Disney, there is no evidence to suggest that Disney or other media companies are planning to actually build such a search engine, which even with the resources available at these company's disposal, would find it almost impossible to compete with established search engines like Google and Bing.


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