Google is currently in discussions with PayPal, Visa and MasterCard regarding a plan to cut funding to illegal download sites as part of an effort to reduce piracy.
The uploading, downloading and sharing of copyrighted music and movies has become increasingly popular over the last decade, but unauthorized use of the material has cost the entertainment industry millions of dollars and creates a legal predicament for individuals who violate copyright laws, The Inquisitr reports.
Google is considering putting a squeeze on financing to download sites that allow sharing of copyrighted material instead of altering search engine results to demote sites that do so.
If Google proceeds with the plan, it will not be the first time that websites have been shut down by having their funding sources blocked. In 2011, PayPal, Visa and MasterCard cut off funding to WikiLeaks, the controversial information website led by Julian Assange that published classified government secrets and information online, according to The Telegraph.
Google voiced concern that the plan could have unintended consequences. Some companies could use the same plan to eliminate competition. Google, however, is working out the details and may implement the plan in the spring.
In a July report, Google and PRS for Music, a U.K. copyright organization, proposed a number of solutions to cut back on copyright infringement. The report noted that 69 percent of illegal download and sharing sites displayed logos for credit card companies and other electronic payment processors, The Inquisitr reports.