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UK Copyright Group Wants Search Results Marked With "Traffic Lights"

Posted by: , 23:47 AEST, Tue July 26, 2011

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A new proposal by a British royalty collection organisation will see websites offering pirated content marked with a "red tick"

The Performing Rights Society for Music is a royalty collection organisation operating in the UK, and they've come up with a new plan to stop music piracy on the Internet - traffic lights.

Web links in search results will give given a "green" tick of approval for websites that are offering legal content, while a red "stop sign" type graphics would be shown next to websites that have been judged to be offering pirated content, and/or have repeatedly ignored "takedown" requests and other behaviour which adds tio their "piracy score".

Traffic Lights for websites mockup
A mock-up of what the 'traffic light' system will look like

The new proposal comes after a recent government backed report which showed that most consumers were not aware of the legal status of content when they find it on the Internet, as in most cases, it is not obvious which content are legal and which are not. And with so much free content in traditional media, and online, "the concept of 'ownership' and 'purchase' has itself been redefined," wrote the report's author, journalism professor Ian Hargreaves.

And so the new plan will attempt to make it easier for the "moral majority" to spot websites offering pirated content, and do the right thing. Except the main issue of who decides which sites are "good" and which are "bad" is a contentious point, even if the suggested "independent body" is set up to oversee such a massive operation (which might have to, on a daily basis, classify thousands of websites just to keep up with the number of new websites being set up, especially websites offering pirated content).

And then there's also the suggestion that the "red lights" will actually help pirates identify the best websites to download pirated content, forming an online "red light district".

You can read PRS for music's press release on this new plan, as well as the proposal PDF file, by going to this link.

Do you support this plan to classify websites and mark those that may contain pirated content? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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