river-torrent.jpgOrange County – In the ongoing battle against illegal file-sharers, Google is taking steps to remove references to the word “torrent” from its search results. The search engine site announced in December that it would work towards “making copyright work better online”, and that “terms that are closely associated with piracy” would no longer populate in the auto completes for user searches.

Not surprisingly, providers for BitTorrent services are not happy with what they are calling censorship.  Some have been quick to claim that there are legitimate uses for torrents and the removal of the terms from the auto complete features are random.  One such provider, RapidShare, a popular search engine, sites concern that Google has gone too far and it will affect its users from using the site for legitimate purposes.  RapidShare’s website advertises free downloads for popular movies such as “The Green Hornet”, as well as a download to a program called “Hide my IP Address.”

As of now, illegal file-sharers are still able to search online for torrents although the search queries won’t populate in the auto complete.  It is curious to us that Google would go half way in its “torrents” related efforts.  Perhaps this is Google dipping its toe in the water, and absent a large backlash, it may be the beginning of the end of torrents related search results at Google.