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Culture secretary wants Google to block piracy sites

The UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government wants sites like Google to block copyright-infringing sites from search results.

UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for search engines like Google to block sites that contain copyright-infringing material from search results, the BBC reports.

Speaking to the Royal Television Society, Hunt said that organisations like advertisers and credit card companies should also stop dealing with sites that host pirated goods.

"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." Hunt 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."

The action that Hunt proposes isn't likely to happen any time soon though -- Google said that it already has processes in place to remove copyright infringing sites from its search results, by letting the copyright owners themselves report the ne'er-do-well websites.

Hunt also seems keen to place a responsibility on ISPs to make it tougher for Internet users to access sites rife with piracy. That seems to be happening already -- in July a court ordered BT to block its customers from accessing Newzbin2, a site that hosts links to pirated material. The legal action against BT was launched by the Motion Picture Association, which represents Hollywood studios including Fox and Disney.

What do you think? Do you agree with Hunt that search engines should block copyright-infringing websites? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.