DuckDuckGo removes many pirate sites from its search results to avoid future legal battles.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine – and recently a web browser – very interesting in many ways, especially because it protects your privacy and your personal data. This does not mean that it promotes, in any way, illegal content. Some well-known pirate sites have recently simply disappeared from the engine’s search results.

DuckDuckGo removes many pirate sites from its search results

DuckDuckGo continues its hunt for shady content, so to speak, and that now extends to digital smugglers. TorrentFreak has indeed discovered that the search engine no longer offers many well-known pirate sites in its results, such as The Pirate Bay, 1337x or Fmovies – search for anything from these domain names and you end up with a empty result list -. Streaming or stream rip sites like Flixtor and 2conv no longer offer any results either, while other pirate storefronts like RarBG now only show one result instead of the hundreds or thousands that can be find on other engines.

to avoid future legal battles

The site for the YouTube-dl video download tool also no longer returns results despite recent defenses of its legality. Although the RIAA has touted YouTube-dl as a hacking tool, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, GitHub, and others have found that it does not rip DRM-protected content.

DuckDuckGo has been contacted to comment on the matter. As TorrentFreak points out, however, liability for copyright violations can be a concern. The company has been removing pirate sites from its search results since 2018, and competitors like Google and Microsoft are already downgrading pirate sites from their results. Such an initiative could protect DuckDuckGo against very costly legal battles over copyright.

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