Chilling Effects, the online repository for copyright complaints of digital content, has blocked all search engines from crawling and indexing their website, prompted by many complaints by copyright holders that indexing the complete notice is actually made it easy for people to find pirated content. It is been one of the sore points for many copyright holders.
Having the complaints indexed however made it easy to find specific complaints and both the companies filing them and the recipients. Many felt that having them indexed held those filing complaints to the standard because people could see if copyright holders were filing frivolous complaints.
According to Torrent Freak, the copyright holder complaints were key in the decision by Chilling Effects to remove the site from the search engines.
“After much internal discussion the Chilling Effects project recently made the decision to remove the site’s notice pages from search engines,” Berkman Center project coordinator Adam Holland informs TF.
“Our recent relaunch of the site has brought it a lot more attention, and as a result, we’re currently thinking through ways to better balance making this information available for valuable study, research, and journalism, while still addressing the concerns of people whose information appears in the database.”
It is surprising that Chilling Effects has blocked the entire domain, rather than simply blocking the notices themselves from being indexed.
Some pages are technically indexed however. Just how Google will index pages despite a site blocking Googlebot, Google has now included pages in the index, but with the “A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt – learn more” as the description for each page.
Users can still go directly to the Chilling Effects website to search for notices however, they just can’t use Google or other search engines to find them.
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