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… and it’s still not made of tubes, either: Pete Townshend and Brian May attack Google over piracy.
A search engine indexes the web. The web is generally an open space, where people can put up whatever they want (not that they necessarily should). Forcing search engines to block sites is censorship, which will always be harmful to the web, because the easier it is to censor things, the more it will be abused.
Now, digital piracy isn’t an easy problem to solve, by any means, but one thing we know is that censorship isn’t a solution. The sites that provide the content can move around at will. Look at the long-running saga with the Pirate Bay, which governments have tried to censor, attempted legal action and tried to shutdown the servers. Yet, the site is still there, and we’ve also heard that attempts at censorship have actually increased traffic to the site. And that’s an attempt to shutdown an entire site, which is arguably easier than trying to censor individual links out of the billions on the web in a search engine.
What’s the answer? No idea, because first of all we need to figure out just how bad piracy is, given that society mostly considers it a moral grey area.