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Google 'in discussions to cut off pirate websites' funding'

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Google is reportedly in discussions with payment companies to cut off funding to piracy websites.

The search giant is said to be in discussions with Visa, MasterCard and PayPal to stop money getting through to sites who host or facilitate illegal downloads, The Daily Telegraph reports

Google Search Engine

© Rex Features

A customer swipes a MasterCard debit card through a machine

© PA Images / Elaine Thompson/AP



The newspaper claims that Google may enact its plans as early as the spring, though it is working through the details to prevent any unintentional consequences, such as firms stifling their competition.

It is thought that limiting funding to sites hosting pirated material or links to pirated material could rid them from the web without Google having to alter its search algorithms.

Funding may also be blocked to websites who do not respond to legal challenges.

Visa and Pay-Pal did not give a comment on the matter, but MasterCard said: "MasterCard takes online safety and security seriously.

"We work closely with our partners to ensure the best possible experience when using electronic payments."

Rights holders have accused Google and Bing of pointing music fans to pirated versions of songs rather than legal downloads.

Last September, The Pirate Bay was added to Google's auto-complete search facility blacklist, though users can still find the site via the search engine.

Google's unpublished blacklist is thought to include "torrent", "BitTorrent", "uTorrent" and "MegaUpload".

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