DuckDuckGo Removes Pirate Websites From Search Results: No More YouTube-dl?


The private search engine, DuckDuckGo, has decided to remove pirate websites from its official search results. This even includes the popular YouTube-dl hack tool used to download YouTube videos.

DuckDuckGo Expands Suspicious Content Crackdown to Pirate Websites and Download Tools

According to Engadget’s story, DuckDuckGo has expanded its crackdown on questionable content. This decision not only covers pirate websites (used to download content illegally), but also digital smugglers.

TorrentFreak has released a report regarding their discovery that DuckDuckGo no longer displays major pirate websites. The list of websites that no longer show up in search engine results includes 1337x, The Pirate Bay and Fmovies.

Limited search results remain for some pirate websites like RarBG

When DuckDuckGo users try to search for the hijacker websites, they no longer receive results indicating anything related to the domain. The ban also includes popular streaming and stream mining websites like 2conv and Flixtor.

Engadget, however, notes that other pirate outlets are still showing now limited results. An example of this is RarBG which shows a single result instead of its hundreds of thousands of search results before DuckDuckGo started to stop showing results for pirate websites.

YouTube-dl download tool removed from DuckDuckGo search engine

Besides pirate websites, YouTube-dl, a site that doubles as a video downloader, also no longer shows up when searching on DuckDuckGo. Although YouTube-dl recently defended the legality of the download tool, it no longer produces results when searched on the privacy search engine.

Arguments against YouTube-dl by the RIAA portray the downloader “as a hacking tool”. As for the technical details, however, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, GitHub, and even others were able to point out that the tool doesn’t actually rip any DRM-protected material.

Why DuckDuckGo may have decided to remove pirate websites from its search engine

Engadget’s article notes that they asked DuckDuckGo to comment on its removal from pirate websites. While there’s no solid confirmation yet, TorrentFreak notes that the issue may involve DuckDuckGo’s liability for copyright infringement.

The search engine has officially removed “pirate bangs” which is a keyword used as a shorthand for pirate sites. The keyword has been around for a long time since 2018 but with DuckDuckGo being removed from search results, it would be interesting to see how other search engines decide to remove access to pirate websites.

Read also : Siri purchases cancelled: Apple to stop Alexa-like functionality due to privacy concerns

How DuckDuckGo could avoid being tied to copyright issues

Engadget notes that, aside from DuckDuckGo’s competitors like Microsoft and Google, they have already started to downgrade piracy-related search results. Since the search engine removes pirate websites, this could help protect it from costly copyright battles.

With piracy becoming a big deal, DuckDuckGo would be able to avoid the mess of copyright issues due to suppressed search results for pirate websites.

Related article: Google Chrome users beware: Emergency security updates to fix zero-day vulnerability

This article belongs to Tech Times

Written by Urian B.

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