Has Google relegated BitTorrent and RapidShare to porn and profanity on Google Instant? Apparently it has, because the terms -- along with profanity -- are no longer completed automatically in Google's online tool. While an "a" on Google Instant gives me commercial sites for "Apple," "Amazon" and "AOL," typing in "bitt" gives me nothing -- certainly not BitTorrent. (Users can also turn off the Google Instant function.)
While some may say this is censorship, third-party, file-sharing and peer-to-peer sites such as BitTorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload are not really about free speech. The majority of its shared files tend to be infringing on someone's copyright, which is what Google is saying the change in search terms is all about.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment "on specifics" but steered me to a post written in December by Ken Walker, Google's general counsel, on the company's public policy blog."While it’s hard to know for sure when search terms are being used to find infringing content, we’ll do our best to prevent Autocomplete from displaying the terms most frequently used for that purpose," he wrote Dec. 2.
In response to the changes, BitTorrent's vice president of product management, Simon Morris told TorrentFreak that it was unfair to his company. "Our company's trademarked name is fairly unique, and we're pretty confident that anyone typing the first six or seven letters deserves the same easy access to results," he said. "What Google may not realize is that our technology is used for many purposes that provide significant value to the technology industry, companies, artists and consumers at large."