back to article Google disappears torrent terms from autocomplete search results

Google has been true to its pre-Christmas word about getting ever so slightly tougher on copyright infringement by killing some terms users look up via its ubiquitous search engine. The company said in December that it would play nice with the big name record labels, TV networks, and movie studios, by providing better …


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  1. Mectron

    Time to sue google

    google is no officialy a CRIMINAL corporation. who is ILLEGALLY censoring LEGAL WORDS.

    it should not be too long before Google get sued for it's OPENLY CRIMINAL ACTION and association with know gangster such as RIAA/MPAA

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re. Time to sue google

      WTF are you on? Google don't owe anybody, least of all you, any favours and they can damn well add and take words from their search/autocomplete apps as and when they wish.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Time to sue google

      Your articulate, well reasoned and carefully explained argument has conviced me.

    3. Seanmon

      letters and/or digits.

      Mectron, I do hope that was a <---

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Time to use google :D

      Google for "dmca complaint google fox". Look carefully at first link ;) . Change "fox" as needed.

      It pays to learn the laws :)))

  2. Anomalous Cowturd

    I can spell torrent!

    There, that wasn't too hard was it?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Not actually totally killed

    I had a test of this and it only seems to stop auto suggesting until you type key word fully. e.g. When you type 'utorrent' as soon as its completed, its autocomplete business as usual...

  4. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down


    Start to type 'Linux Torrent' - no auto results.

    Type 'Linux Tor' - no auto results. 'Tor Linux' works though.

    Uh, thanks for the protection, Google.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Why use Google?

      There are several plug-ins for browsers that do torrent searches.

      They work rather well.

  5. Doug Glass

    If You Failet 3rd Grade Speelling ...

    ... this cud be a prolem 4 sur.

  6. zourtney


    As mentioned, uTorrent is missing from the suggestions list. The only thing I've ever downloaded using uTorrent is Ubuntu ISOs.

    Torrents are legitimate, thank you very much.

    1. copsewood

      Torrents are legitimate

      Indeed they are, but I'd recommend you confirm the SHA1 or stronger hash of the .ISO file afterwards if you are intending running it as an operating system.

    2. NoneSuch

      What we need... someone to launch a pirate server into space with wireless Internet capabilities. Just like the Radio Caroline offshore broadcasts of the 1960's. Sure they will pass laws against that too, but unless they want to deploy an anti-satellite system to kill it off it should be fine for a few decades of vacuum packed goodness.

      Just thought. Photocopiers can potentially breach copyrights! Lets outlaw them too. Similarly, fax machines, scanners and while we are at it, lets block this bloke too:

      Gosh knows hew might be used for some nefarious copyright infringement in the future so lets do a complete job of it.


      1. Chad H.

        Space station caroline

        The problem with space station Caroline, other than the ginormous cost is you still need to get your internet uplink from somewhere - another satelite or basestation. That's going to come under someones jurisdiction...

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Pirate satellite not needed.

        There are plenty of compromised Windows PCs out there seeding torrents completely unknown to their legitimate owners. My sources tell me it's a small scale activity done by crackers not interested in running botnets for other purposes, but who like their favourite movies and music to be made widely available to the world at large, without the seeding being traceable to them personally. Also helps further to discredit the copyright enforcers when they try threatening and suing innocent people who have'nt done anything.

  7. John Savard Silver badge


    Well, having them in autocomplete gives the impression that Google is suggesting or encouraging this sort of thing, so taking those terms out strikes an appropriate balance between attempting to censor the web on the one hand, and visibly suggesting piracy to people on the other.

    So I don't see this as something to be concerned about. It's a reasonable response that will help to avoid a situation in which U.S. courts might force Google to take undesirable actions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but ...

      It equally hinders those who want to report illegal file sharing, so the sum total is bugger all, really.

      And don't forget, it also hinders those who want to buy a copy of the 1926 Garbo movie.

      In all, it's a bit like curtailing the auto-fill on "rucksack" so as not to encourage suicide bombers.

  8. Individual #6/42

    But autocorrect still works

    Type "Linux turrent" into Google and it automatically corrects to "torrent". So even if you can't type you'll get your warez through the Goo.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Free, as in beer

      Linux Werez? That's an interesting concept...

    2. Alpha-Llama


      Just stop using google

      i will be loyal to the search engine that doesn't censor my interweb

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Well, as the first poster so inelegantly almost got near to touching on, it is slightly worrying where this kinda of thing could go.

    And even though it is evidently a token gesture from Google towards the music and movie industry it is still a step in the direction of censoring the web based on the demands of big business, which if taken to anything more than a token gesture is a concern I think worth worrying about.

  10. Radelix

    so its just auto complete then

    The firefox search field still functions as original. So if the censor those from the autocomplete that still leaves: non auto complete version of Google, mobile search fields in various browsers that are set to google, scroogle, google toolbars, other search engines, TPB, Extratorrent, etc. Yes Google has really got us by the short and curlys on torrents.

    The precedent however is what is spooky. I dont like that they can make an agreement with <entity> and then certain words return no results. Good news is that it is not a mandate by the yet at least so it leaves it open to other providers to fill that void.

  11. Annihilator Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    Well that's absolutely stymied them then. Until they remember that key located directly below backspace, what is it again?

    Or use an actual torrent search engine. Or rely on RSS feeds.

  12. cosmo the enlightened


    To quote "Google said last month that it was working to stop copyright-infringing websites making cash off its AdSense advertising platform."

    Has Google looked at the content on you tube lately? Have they? I still see ads up there...


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Am I the only one who sits at a new machine, starts typing into google and then goes "wtf the button... ooo right... auto search..." *click* and lets face it most of us use the little box in the top right hand corner to search for things.

  14. Bugs R Us


    Right, so how come when I search for "127 hours orrent", Google offers to correct me with "127 hours torrent"?

    Why even bother, Google? Just stick to doing what you do well, search.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Thin edge of the wedge?


  16. Anonymous Coward

    Duck Duck Go

    Just one more reason to jump off the google ship:

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still works for me...

    Maybe they only kill the results on .com, not

    In any case, even if I was looking for a torrent and Google won't help, I'd ask Yahoo/MSN/etc, no biggy. And surely the torrents indexing files themselves have their own search tool. Maybe more a gesture of goodwill on Google's part?

    Still against their sworn neutrality stance, I have to agree with that though.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Oh what bollocks

    Any tech savie user has any decent torrent/warez sirtes already in their favs folder, this is minor pandering by google to appease the riaa mpaa and really has no effect at all on anyones ability to pilfer warez. Or legtimate distros!!!!!!

  19. Steen Hive

    Last time I looked.

    Bittorrent was a both a net protocol and a legitimate enterprise.

    Someone needs a slap around the head.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer
      Thumb Up

      Re: Last time I looked.

      Yes...... But......

      If you compare the volume of copyright infringing content available via a torrent and legitimate content available via a torrent it might lead you to the conclusion that torrents are almost exclusively allowing access to copyright infringing targets.

      Under pressure from copyright holders, google has tweaked it's auto complete to be less likely to offer potentially copyright infringing material, the ability to still google Linux distros shows it's probably appropriate.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Where it's all going to end

    As many people have succintly pointed out, torrents have many legitimate uses. However (as always) the man is about 3 years out of date. I've noticed an increasing trend amongst filesharers to simply use a filehosting service (Rapidshare springs to mind although there are many others). Break the file in question into bite-size chunks. Anonymise them by calling them "nnuwenfuhfewifh.r00" and so on, and then post the links in various online forums.

    Filehosting is cheap, and has the advantage that unlike torrents, the files will always be available. Hardcore freetards will pay the filehoster to have multiple downloads/no limits, and ocassional freetards will simply take their time.

    If you make the online forums subscription only, it becomes very very hard to police.

    This system has the added advantage that there is never any case where a downloaders PC can be considered to be an uploader - so cases where torrentors are accused of "making available" copyrighted work disappear.

    Also, because the file is (typically) password zipped *and* broken into chunks, there's no way the hosting company can know what it is.

    Oh well, at least google have removed ".torrent" from autocomplete ....

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