The BPI and RIAA have applauded Google's decision to push illegal copyright infringing sites down in its search results, and called on owners of other leading search engines to follow suit.
The search giant announced on Friday that it will be penalising sites which rack up verified copyright takedown notices (DMCAs). The BPI sent out 160,000 of them to Google in May alone.
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor (pictured) said: "We have argued for some time that the fact that certain websites are subject to very high numbers of DMCA notifications, because they feature a large amount of illegal content, should be reflected in lower search rankings.
"Consumers overwhelmingly want and expect the top search results for entertainment content to feature legal, licensed services. We will look carefully at how much impact this change will have in practice, but we welcome the announcement from Google and will be pressing other search engines to follow suit."
Meanwhile, the US record industry has also reacted to the news.
RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said on Friday: “Today Google has announced a potentially significant change in its search rankings that can make a meaningful difference to creators: sites that are the subject of large numbers of copyright removal notices may be ranked lower in search results than before.
"This should result in improved rankings for the licensed music services that pay artists and deliver fans the music they love. This change is an important step in the right direction – a step we’ve been urging Google to take for a long time – and we commend the company for its action.
“As Google itself has acknowledged, this is not the only approach, and of course, the details of implementation will matter. Moreover, there are many more actions that we hope Google will take. But by taking this common-sense step and treating copyright in a way that’s consistent with the search firm’s approach to other forms of activity on the Internet, Google has signaled a new willingness to value the rights of creators.
"That is good news indeed. And the online marketplace for the hundreds of licensed digital services embraced by the music business is better today than it was yesterday.”