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Soon, searches for sites like The Pirate Bay and other torrent queries will be hardly visible or completely disappear from the UK cyberspace. A new report said copyright holders in the country are nearing a deal with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to make life difficult for online pirates.

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TorrentFreak reported that search engine biggies and UK rights holders "were close to finalizing a voluntary anti-piracy code." Under the agreement, Google, Bing and Yahoo will either delist or demote pirated contents in order to discourage online piracy.

When the measure, which has the backing of UK's Intellectual Property Office, takes effect UK online users will no longer results for torrent searches. The objective is to push torrent operations like those of TPB, ExtraTorrent and Kickass Torrents to the edge of oblivion in the hopes that the sites will eventually become extinct.

The planned anti-piracy code will compel search engines to rework their algorithms in such a way that websites offering pirated contents will be demoted from the search results. Copyright holders would want to ensure that infringing contents would be hard to find while legal alternatives will be readily searchable, the report said.

"The parties have also agreed to cooperate more closely and share data to optimize future anti-piracy strategies," TorrentFreak added on its report.

And in re-optimizing the search algorithms by Google, Bing and Yahoo in the United Kingdom, rights holders are looking to completely eliminate pirate and torrent search terms from the autocomplete suggestions.

If the deal is finalized as planned, the new anti-piracy code will be implemented as early as June 1 this year, the report said. And the end-goal is to build an online environment that is deemed by authorities and copyright holders as mutually safe and beneficial for users and content producers alike.

However, questions remain if this latest collaboration between search engine operators and rights holders will indeed halt or even kill online piracy. As indicated in the report, similar agreements were seen in the past but torrent operations and online piracy persisted with little or no disruptions at all.

Even as the search engines will end up not displaying pirated contents, the likelihood is there that users familiar with torrenting sites such as TPB, KAT and Torrentz can always go directly to the operations' URLs, which should be another problem for rights holders to deal with.