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Google Censors "Piracy Terms" From Instant Search

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the problem-solved dept.

Censorship 246

Chaonici writes "A few weeks ago, Google promised that, on behalf of the entertainment industries, they would begin filtering 'piracy related' terms from their search system. Now, TorrentFreak reports that Google has lived up to their promise, and certain keywords (such as 'bittorrent' and 'rapidshare') will no longer produce results with the Autocomplete or Instant Search features. The standard search feature, however, continues to display results as normal. Simon Morris of BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare, and Jamie King (the founder of Vodo) are critical of the change, pointing out the many legitimate uses of popular file-sharing technology."

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flooost ploost (-1)

Noog (934684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018796)

lol ror what...check my dubs--->

Bloody Hell (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018806)

Great, now I need to find a new search engine... I thought Google was anti censor... and had a don't be evil policy...

Re:Bloody Hell (5, Insightful)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018874)

Do notice that they -didn't censor anything! All they did is hide certain terms from the auto-complete. Big deal. There's plenty of other words in that "censored" list. Now, they can claim to be "helping prevent piracy" or whatever without actually doing anything. I see it as a win-win situation.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018916)

Yes, as long as this makes the entertainment industry whine a little less, its good. Although no one can say for sure that this restriction won't "jump" into the full search engine sometime in the future

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019356)

Some times the slippery slope argument is valid, this is one of those cases. The argument that users shouldn't be able to find bittorrent results "too easily" is actually weaker than the argument that users* just shouldn't be able to find bittorrent results so the jump seems imminent.

* Except law enforcement, politicians and members of the MAFIAA of course.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019824)

Some times the slippery slope argument is valid, this is one of those cases. The argument that users shouldn't be able to find bittorrent results "too easily" is actually weaker than the argument that users* just shouldn't be able to find bittorrent results so the jump seems imminent.

* Except law enforcement, politicians and members of the MAFIAA of course.

How about the argument that users should be able to search for what they want, but Google should have the right to not suggest certain controversial searches?

By your reasoning, here is an entire list [2600.com] of things that Google is going to start censoring from their search results, any minute now.

Re:Bloody Hell (-1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019358)

I disagree. I love to hear prima donnas whine and cry. It makes me feel good. All those parasites can whine in harmony, and I may well have an orgasm. Make 'em cry, make 'em whine, make 'em bleed - if I ever get tired of hearing it, we'll just stick a knife into them.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019698)

Keep your weird internet-tough-guy fantasies to yourself, Junior Sociopath.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018930)

Do notice that they -didn't censor anything! All they did is hide certain terms from the auto-complete. Big deal. There's plenty of other words in that "censored" list. Now, they can claim to be "helping prevent piracy" or whatever without actually doing anything. I see it as a win-win situation.

Win-win would be "hey copyright cartels, not only is this infeasible, this isn't even our problem."

By taking a stance of "helping prevent piracy" at all they merely legitimize the idea that the current system is working and that search engine companies should act as enforcement agents.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019068)

Win-win would be "hey copyright cartels, not only is this infeasible, this isn't even our problem." By taking a stance of "helping prevent piracy" at all they merely legitimize the idea that the current system is working and that search engine companies should act as enforcement agents.

Let's hope that its a too way street then, so now Google is sue able by the media companies? They admitted they can filter the bad stuff right? So any bad stuff that turns up is now Google content and they should be held responsible! Tear it down, tear it down! It be wicked that a large company goes belly up for being a Sony & co lapdog.

you colouring book is under the bed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018976)

I put you colouring book under the bed, just to see crying fear of reaching under the bed to fetch it.

Re:Bloody Hell (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019006)

Oddly enough, other piracy related search terms like "pegleg", "eyepatch" and "jolly roger" are still auto-completed.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019294)

they've already rescinded half of it - if you type in torrent it shows stuff, just not torr - because apparently things involving the old republic misspelled or having an accurate search at all don't matter.

this is immensely stupid. Why? Because it makes their search engine less accurate. Accuracy was why we used the thing in the first place.

Re:Bloody Hell (4, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019340)

"can i get pregnant from a dog" however is still autocompleted.
Seriously, I keep meaning to write some kind of program to itterate through all the possible autocomplete options to see all the wierd stuff which turns up.

there's already lots of things which aren't autocompleted.
it's no big deal.
as long as their search still works they can autocomplete what they like.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019448)

It's funnier than that. If you start typing "bitt", nothing shows up. If you complete it as "bittorrent", it seems to work fine.

Another pyrrhic victory for the MPAA/RIAA, apparently.

Re:Bloody Hell (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019976)

Do notice that they -didn't censor anything! All they did is hide certain terms from the auto-complete.

"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."
"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything."
"But the plans were on display ..."
"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
"That's the display department."
"With a torch."
"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"
"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

Re:Bloody Hell (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018892)

Yeah, my searches on "nine-pounder", "pieces of eight", "scurvy dogs", and "Arrrrrrr" all totally failed.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019012)

Somehow I doubt any search on 'nine-pounder' would fail to bring up something...

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019450)

>>>"nine-pounder", "pieces of eight", "scurvy dogs", and "Arrrrrrr"

Arrrrrr that lass was so curvy, she be carrying two nine-pounders in her chest! So I threw 'er four pieces-of-eight, and she slapped me! Thee scurvy wench.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018910)

Some might say that downloading a torrent instead of buying the product in question is evil.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018950)

But, but... what's wrong with living off others? Business models based on people paying you for your work are obsolete. Someone on Slashdot said so!

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018994)

Some might say that downloading a torrent instead of buying the product in question is evil.

And here I thought there were torrents containing none-copyrighted content or content spread by their creators, for example game patches.

Re:Bloody Hell (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019010)

Others might say that doing this opens the door to doing more in the future. So it's auto-completing of "piracy-related" search terms today; perhaps next year it'll be removing search results for wikileaks-style information.

(Yeah, I know, slippery-slope fallacy, etc)

Just because the thing being searched for is arguably wrong, doesn't mean that this isn't also a worrying development.

Re:Bloody Hell (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019518)

Except that every story on google results censoring so far has been about auto-complete and instant serach only. Pressing search on google is not censored in any way I am aware of.

Re:Bloody Hell (3, Insightful)

nanospook (521118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019030)

So I have a 75% hearing loss. I go to the movies anyways and enjoy the show but can't understand most of the script. So now if I want to do so I should go buy the movie or pay more to rent it? Noooo.. I download it and get the subtitles. I already paid for it. Does this make me evil?

Re:Bloody Hell (3, Funny)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019216)

Well, you robbed them of profit that they never even had, so yes. You are a very, very evil individual.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019542)

When you go to the movies, you have not paid for the privilege of owning the movie. You are paying for the big screen, the speakers, the chairs, and the building's rent. Just because you can justify it to yourself does not make it legally justified; whether or not you give a whit about what the law says is up to you.

Good try though.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019180)

>>>Some might say that downloading a torrent instead of buying the product in question is evil. Some might also say that Refusal to Allow Returns is also evil. Hell even candybar makers have a "satisfacttion guaranteed, or return the product for a full refund" policy. If I buy a movie like Transformers 2, and it's crap, then I should be able to return it. But since I can't, I downloaded it instead and saved myself the money and hassle. Just click "delete" and T-2 is gone forever.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019184)

And some might disagree with that notion. That said, bittorrent's only use isn't copyright infringement. It can be used legitimately as well, and in quite a few cases, it is.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019260)

FIXED:

>>>Some might say that downloading a torrent instead of buying the product in question is evil.

Some might say that Refusal to Allow Returns is also evil. Hell even candybar makers have a "satisfaction guaranteed, or return the product for a full refund" policy, so why can't movie companies? If I buy a movie like Transformers 2 on DVD, and it's crap, then I should be able to return it. Or at least get store credit.

But since I can't, I downloaded it instead and saved myself the money and hassle. Just click "delete" and T-2 is gone forever. I consider "try before you buy" I perfectly legitimate reason for using torrent.

Oh and before you comment about reviews: Most of them are bought-and-paid-for by the movie companies. You can't trust what you read from reviewers. They often recommend movies (like T-2) that are total pants, due to being employed or getting kick-backs from the RIAA/MPAA-affiliated companies.

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019352)

And this is evil?

http://www.kubuntu.org/getkubuntu/download

And this?

http://distribution.openoffice.org/p2p/

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019498)

But I'm fishing in torrents and now I have to press an extra key to find them.
I might get excruciating pain in my wrist from that extra key typing and no longer be able to fish for my family and I might have to sue Google.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019646)

Is watching something for free on TV instead of paying for it evil, too?

What, exactly is the difference between watching something for free on TV and watching something for free by downloading it?

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019300)

Oh? Ever since a year ago (if memory serves me right), google has been returning 'poisoned' results where the top results are actually some form of spam or syndicating site profiting from ad view with no content of the search terms at all. Nowadays, I'm using bing until google would man up and rework their crawler algorithm to not be gamed by SEO easily. For my case, in Indonesia, using the local google.co.id to search for local content is totally disastrous with the first 3-5 pages returning irrelevant results(most of them spam).

The bad news is, there is little users can do to combat this because there is no way to report it to google. While filtration can be bad at times, more often it is needed to deal with jackassery like this.

Re:Bloody Hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019434)

>>Some might say that downloading a torrent instead of buying the product in question is evil.>>
Some might say that assuming a torrent contains questionable content is evil.

Re:Bloody Hell (2)

Dreth (1885712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019462)

Do you remember those days when Google didn't have the fancy-schmancy auto-complete or instant-search? I do, because I never used them, so this doesn't affect me in the slightest.

If you're gonna search for The Red Dragon torrent, you KNOW you're gonna have to type it out, instead of waiting for Google to finish the phrase for you. So basically you are whining that you're gonna have to type search inquiries, are we really this lazy?

Re:Bloody Hell (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019892)

And because of that policy, they got many trials in many countries because some silly judges consider that what the autocomplete algorithm spouts is what google thinks. As soon as they began to manually remove some terms, they opened the pandora box and became effectively responsible for what they left. Expect autocomplete to soon be very, very heavily censored.

duckduckgo.com (1)

homotron (950715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018826)

-nt-

Re:duckduckgo.com (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019150)

I do keep trying this one. it has so-so returned results but still not 'great' yet.

at least its not rude and invasive like google is.

Applies only to incomplete words (4, Informative)

PARENA (413947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018840)

The summary is misleading. This only refers to incomplete words. If you type "bitt" or "rapidsh" you won't get the (desired?) results, but if you type "bittorrent" or "rapidshare" you will get the results you expect.

Apart from that, it's quite childish. Also "pirate" gives me results leading to The Pirate Bay, for example.

Re:Applies only to incomplete words (4, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019086)

Yes, it only applies to autocomplete. But since this story hit the media a month ago, I've been watching how I use autocomplete, and learned something:

I use autocomplete to help me phrase my search terms, almost subconsciously. Any geek knows that phrasing a search is the key to getting proper results. I will frequently use the autocomplete to validate or invalidate several attempts at phrasing the search before I hit enter. Same goes for spelling. Autocomplete results in me creating more successful searches with more pertinent results.

Now, I seldom use this for porn because, 1) i use filestube as my porn search engine, and 2) I usually don't need help phrasing a search for "big butts." (And, I've noticed that Google autocomplete stopped working for pornstar names a long time ago, far earlier than their announcement in late 2010.)

But, for torrents, autocomplete is sometimes a valuable tool. No, I don't need it, but the responsiveness of autocomplete is an aid to the thought process of editing the search phrase. If they start extending their autocomplete bannination to other topics, I'd start getting concerned. Right now it's only the top of a slope which may or may not be slippery.

But "its just autocomplete" isn't a valid excuse, for several reasons. Google is making editorial decisions when they're relied upon to be a neutral, content-independent indexing service. It scares some people because, there's no easier and more effective way to censor something than to cripple its index entries. What's next?

Re:Applies only to incomplete words (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019578)

I have yet to see a story about "google censors search terms when you click search".

Re:Applies only to incomplete words (1)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019288)

The summary is misleading. This only refers to incomplete words.

Hence the wording in the summary: "certain keywords . . . will no longer produce results with the Autocomplete or Instant Search features. The standard search feature, however, continues to display results as normal." [Emphasis mine]

Jeez, doesn't anyone even read the summaries anymore before complaining?

Re:Applies only to incomplete words (1)

Sky Cry (872584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019482)

This is irrelevant. The solution to this problem should involve layer man-hours, not developer man-hours.

Goodbye Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018854)

Goodbye Google, it's been nice knowing you.

Not a big deal (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018856)

This just means Google will not autofill "torrent" just as they don't autofill "breast".
      - But that certainly hasn't stopped people from searching for porn, and won't stop them from searching for free music/TV shows either.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

ViperOrel (1286864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018894)

The problem is that they filter "breast" on what they think might be offensive to us.
They filter "torrent" based on what is offensive to an industry.

If beef gets its panties in a twist, does this mean they'll start filtering "vegan" and vegetarian?

Re:Not a big deal (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019108)

The problem is that they filter "breast" on what they think might be offensive to us.

No, they filter breast on what they think might be offensive to the 'think of the children' crowd. They filter 'torrent' based on what is offensive to a different pressure group.

If they were filtering based on what might be offensive to you, then it would be opt-in.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019138)

however they will return suggested results for

"how to pirate music"
and
"how to annoy the RIAA"

Pre-punishing system SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018860)

That's absurd. Google is considering that everybody is guilt. Pre-punishing is just a general assumption and can lead to odd situations.

Someone might say: Why not omitting EVERY google search them? After-all how sure can anyone be of not having (name your favorite illegal thing) links on slashdot commentaries?

Re:Pre-punishing system SUCKS (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018972)

If I'm looking for "Torrential Rains in [Country]" at work or at a public location, I dont' want google to offer me

"Free Torrents for your favourite shows" or whatever in the instant search results. If I truly AM looking for torrents, I can easily type in "Torrents" and press that magic button on top of the right shift.

BAM. Torrents.

Just if you're not activly looking for them, you won't stumble upon any. Is this so hard?

Warez Terms (2)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018882)

Back in the day, searching for illegal downloads using normal search terms didn't really yield any useful results. Instead, you had to add "z" to the end of everything ... for example "warez", "mp3z", "serialz", etc. And now "torrentz" I suppose. So I doubt that censoring copyright-infringement vernacular will have any impact whatsoever on legitimate uses of P2P software, especially considering that normal search terms will result in any number of legitimate MP3/video download sites. And for crying out loud, it's on the *instant* search, which has got to be the least useful feature I have ever seen in any search engine.

Re:Warez Terms (1)

toetagger (642315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018924)

...you had to add "z" to the end of everything ... for example ... "torrentz"

And how exactly will adding a z at the end help solve the problem that the search term doesn't auto complete? You man that if I type bitt... it will auto complete to bittorrentz for me? How cool would that be? Next, I search for Oba... and get Obamaz, cool!

Re:Warez Terms (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019708)

Perhaps the new standard will be to prefix with a z, so that you can autocomplete zbittorrent.

Re:Warez Terms (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018944)

Warez were called warez long before there were any kind of search-engine to search for warez with.

Re:Warez Terms (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019052)

You mean before there were computers that could search through text, or what do you actually mean by this?

Re:Warez Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018986)

Get with the times. These days searching for words like "warez" will only give you pages upon pages of scam and malware sites. These words have long since been burnt.

Get a grip! (4, Insightful)

jareth-0205 (525594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018902)

Just press like you used to! Jeez, they just don't want people in sensitive places getting potentially dodgy links coming up on their screens. I know when i'm at work I'd rather not have pirate sites coming up on my search result screen while I'm typing...

Re:Get a grip! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019652)

If people do not want to have results from their incomplete searches on the screen as they type they must turn off Google Instant.

What Google is actually doing is prioritizing the display of certain search terms which are common (and should appear at the top of the search) due to a request by a third party. So, what is next? they will stop showing Tea Party movement web pages because the current government asked nicely. Even though I do not share the TeaParty principles (shit, I am a "leftist, socialist, populist, brownist" Mexican) I expect a search engine not to censor certain results just because someone asked.

Awesome! (3, Informative)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018906)

That's great, so now I just have to start my search with "torrent" or "arrrr" and I won't have to suffer through Google's rediculous "instant" crap? Sign me up!

In all seriousness; if you like Google just blacklist it for JavaScript, no more instant results. Or search from the address bar. Or, best option IMHO, use https://ixquick.com./ [ixquick.com.] *

* google it for more details!

Re:Awesome! (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018998)

Why not simply buy what you are downloading?

Re:Awesome! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019182)

Why not simply buy what you are downloading?

Can you fail more in reading comprehension?
Or do you believe that everyone who dislikes Google Instant must also do copyright-infringing downloads?

Re:Awesome! (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019262)

I live in reality. And the reality is that the vast majority of torrents contain pirated files. Anyone looking for legal content will already be smart enough to find it via other methods.

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019040)

> won't have to suffer through Google's rediculous "instant" crap?

Or you could start by typing "ridi" and it would lead you to how to spell ridiculous [how-to-spe...culous.com]

Re:Awesome! (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019198)

Goode idee, thanks yuu. :-)

Re:Awesome! (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019540)

You realize you can turn instant search off, right?

Re:Awesome! (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019556)

Nope. TFA is complaining because Google will not suggest "torrent". If you type in the name of a movie, Google will not suggest "movie torrent", but if you type "torrent", Google will make suggestions that contain the word.

As for autocomplete, Google has a setting that will disable it. Look under "Search Settings" in the upper right corner.

more warez terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018908)

Why not block nzb, iso, nfo, zeroday or terms people might actually use. You don't need the .iso to find a .iso of a legit image, and turning off autocomplete is just plain useless

This is not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35018912)

Censorship is what they did in China, making it so that results are not displayed. Controlling what is in the autocomplete box is just good policy.

This is a good thing (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018936)

The last thing I want at work is for my legitimate searches to autocomplete with warez sites and the like.

If anything, though, it shows that google's instant search mechanic is a failure -- not the actual searching for warez.

I'll sue! (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018948)

That extra strain on my enter-finger builds up, you know! I could get carpal tunnel 0.00004% faster!

Why does this always happen? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018952)

Every single time Google removes certain words from Instant , its censorship.

No its not.

You can still type it in, hit enter and get your results. They just don't want to 'suggest' them for you - for various reasons.

So if you type 'tor' you won't get "Torrents! Download all your favourite stuff for free!" until you press enter. Big deal. Same happens for a bunch of adult terms.

Re:Why does this always happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019426)

It is still censorship.

If I am not allowed to speak my opinions in the city then it is censorship, even if I am allowed to say whatever I want out in the desert.

Re:Why does this always happen? (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019802)

actually, your analogy is kind of wrong. Google is the nice guy you can ask for directions; usually, he tries to complete your question before you finish it. Now, he decided he wouldn't allways do that, so you have to finish your question.

Keywords not even really necessary (2)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018962)

Given that filenames have taken a relatively standard form in torrent circles, the material can be found without specifying any more than the general name form.

Simply using: "[name of show] s##e##" will typically lead to torrent results without any other keywords. Usually occupying at least the top few listed results.

Censor is a bad word choice here. (2)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35018974)

I'd say remove. They aren't censoring the search, they're just removing it from the autocomplete queue. Alarmist alarmism is alarming.

I bet the Bittorent guys are F'ing pissed right now. It sucks that a great technology like Bittorrent immediately gets the spotlight on it's seedier uses as opposed to the really good ones (like legitimate releases of software that take the load off of individual servers).

/in before the google hate?

Does not jibe 100% with "do no evil" (2)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019032)

And yes, if you want to know, I am not sure "pirates" are evil. A decade ago I was rather clearly against software, music and video "piracy". Not anymore.

Hey! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019038)

My company is Warez Brothers! I can't help that this was my family given surname!

You are taking away legit business from my company!

Re:Hey! (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019078)

Most people spell that Juarez.

Out of interest... (1)

TheoGB (786170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019042)

...is there somewhere a good stat showing the percentage of illegal uses of torrents compared to legitimate ones?

Re:Out of interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019324)

100% Linux ISOs
0% Illegitimate uses

Source: (in true slashnerd style) just google it! does everything have to be spoonfed to you? Educate yourself and Get Informed.

probably prudent (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019056)

As others have noted, they're not filtering any results. They're just not suggesting piracy-related terms in the autocomplete, along with some other filtered terms like sex-related terms. Probably a prudent decision, because while returning search results for a query the user entered is fairly safe legally, prompting the user with something illegal that they didn't actively look for might be more questionable. Not sure if they could actually be liable, but it at least is less solid.

Baby/bathwater (3, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019080)

Besides "bittorrent", "rapidshare" and a couple of other, the following words are now also unable to auto-complete:

http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/bitt/ [morewords.com]
http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/rapid/ [morewords.com]
http://www.morewords.com/starts-with/torr/ [morewords.com]

Re:Baby/bathwater (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019302)

The "baby/bathwater" saying is only applicable when the proverbial baby is actually valuable in some way. Preventing only the autocompletion of a few random words seems more like throwing the soap suds out with the bathwater.

Re:Baby/bathwater (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019748)

And only relevant if you need Google to help finish words for you.

Interestingly, "t" through "tor" autocomplete (to words not including "torrent"). Once you've typed "torrent", you get multiple-word suggestions that include the word "torrent". If you add more letters, like "i" (the prefix to "torrential"), it returns to normal autocomplete behavior.

More? (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019082)

They should also filter searches for other things that are used to facilitate copyright infringement...

FTP, IRC and HTTP - all have been used for downloading warez a lot longer than bittorrent or rapidshare.
Microsoft & Windows - the most popular platform both in terms of being copied, and in terms of being used by those that do the copying (far less linux users use warez, because there is far less software for linux that its even possibly to acquire this way).
Any form of commercially sold media - if everything were given away freely, there would be no "pirates"...
And dont forget anything to do with ships or seafaring, pirates need ships...

Re:More? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019164)

And shoes. Nearly every pirate in the world uses them, and they can freely access them without any kind of restriction anywhere in the world, frequently for low prices and for cash in black markets. Won't somebody think of the children?

Not surprising (1)

snookiex (1814614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019098)

They didn't get rich listening to a bunch of "whiners", but those having the money. Although, they provided a way to not look so "evil". Now Google is prisoner of his own debts, just like a politician funded by doubtful sources.

So what? (2)

Restil (31903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019104)

They're not censoring anything, they're just filtering the results of the annoying autocomplete, which I hate anyway. If someone is really looking for a linux torrent, they'll just have to click the damn button. The absolute legitimacy of torrents will not be denied in spite of this.

-Restil

Unfair (1)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019122)

I’m sure rapidshare won’t be very happy about this

especially considering
mediafire
filedude
fileape and many many other file sites still work

Blogspot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019132)

Do they stop the term 'Blogspot' in autocomplete? ;)

Piracy Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019140)

Arrr! I guess we won't be able to look for Pieces of Eight,, buried treasure, or bottles of rum using Google then. We will have to rely on Jack Sparrow's compass instead.

Maleware issues? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019228)

Considering the higher percentage of malware to result in piracy compared to most everything else, perhaps they are just trying to avoid the malware sites...

Not saying big companies aren't performing CYA.

Trial balloon? (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019254)

This could be a trial balloon to see what the public response is.

You know, get the headline without actually censoring their regular results, see what happens. I hope that any public outcry/criticism reminds them of their old corporate tagline "don't be evil," and reinforces that censorship is ridiculous and wrong, and that it could hurt their reputation, especially among the sort of people who are active on slashdot (geeks/IT workers/generally above average intelligence).

It's not a matter of whether you support piracy (and of course, all of these technologies have other, what society would consider "legitiate" uses as well) - it's that censorship is unacceptable, especially from such a dominant and important tool.

Re:Trial balloon? (1)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019362)

So I have an interesting alternative take on this all. Mainly: I use google _AT WORK_ where porn and illegal file sharing are both a problem. I absolutely, 100% don't want autocomplete/instant search for porn, because it could get me in trouble, if I type in 'pen' and got 'penis' instead of 'pending' and someone happened to be looking at my screen who was offended.... Even illegal file sharing.... Yes there are plenty of legitimate terms, but this is an easy algorithm to prevent illegitimate uses (from the corporate acceptable use policy's perspective) from showing up on my screen. So yes, I view this as protecting me.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019332)

That makes it slightly harder to find things to which you are not freely entitled.

How about trying to make some "content" yourselves? Or go for a walk in the forest?

Avast! Pirate terms... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019368)

This is going to make finding 'eye patches,' 'wooden legs,' and 'rum' a little tough to find.

So.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019440)

Up until last year instant search wasn't enabled to everyone. Auto complete has been around for quite some time. Truly, who cares? I can still type in the name and pull it up. They're not banned from the search. They're just leaving them out of the auto crap.

OH NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35019938)

What will happen to those people that cannot spell right or even type more than 3 letters in a row?

It is still a problem for developers (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35019954)

I'm a developer and it is still a problem and still irksome.
When I typed my product name into google the auto complete suggests currently suggests the following pirate related searches:
PRODUCT crack
PRODUCT key
PRODUCT activation code

Every one of those sites leads to a malware site or adware site that definitely does not include keys, activation codes, or cracks.. but are definitely bogus results.

No longer suggested are:
PRODUCT torrent
PRODUCT rapidshare
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