DuckDuckGo’s suppression of risky content now includes digital bootleggers. TorrentFreak have discovered that the search engine no longer shows results for some major pirate sites, including The Pirate Bay, 1337x and Fmovies – look for everything from their domains and you’ll come up empty handed. Streaming and stream-ripping sites like Flixtor and 2conv also yield no results, while other pirated businesses (such as RarBG) may only show one result instead of the hundreds of thousands you see elsewhere.
The YouTube dl video download site does not produce any results either, despite recent defenses for its legality. While the RIAA has portrayed YouTube dl as a piracy tool, Electronic Frontier Foundation, GitHub and others found that it does not rip DRM-protected material.
We’ve asked DuckDuckGo for a comment. As TorrentFreak says, however, that liability for copyright infringement can be a problem. The company removed pirate “bangs” as far back as 2018, and competitors such as Google and Microsoft are already downgrading piracy-related results. A move like this could protect DuckDuckGo from costly copyright battles.
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