The UK's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for businesses to cut ties with websites that link to pirated content while likening such sites to merchants selling counterfeit goods. The BBC reports that during a speech delivered to the Royal Television Society, Hunt encouraged internet, advertising and credit card companies to cease doing business with websites that host or link to pirated content as it would make it harder for such sites to stay afloat.
"Unlawfully distributing copyrighted material is theft - and a direct assault on the freedoms and rights of creators of content to be rewarded fairly for their efforts," he said. "We do not allow certain products to be sold in the shops on the High Street, nor do we allow shops to be set up purely to sell counterfeited products. Likewise we should be entitled to make it more difficult to access sites that are dedicated to the infringement of copyright."
According to the Beeb, the government would "ideally" like to see Google block these types of websites. However, Google has said that copyright holders can already report violations directly to Google and made no indication that it would be willing to put such a block in place. If search engines, advertising agencies and credit card companies were to cut off websites that enable piracy, it would certainly have a massive impact. However, the backlash against companies taking such action likely wouldn't be small, either.
The BBC reports that Mr Hunt's proposals are suggested measures for the upcoming Communications Act that's scheduled to come into law in 2015 and will stand alongside the Digital Economy Act (DEA). Read the full story here.