PRS proposes 'traffic light' system for music search results

A red light never stopped a pirate

Green means go red means stop

The Performing Rights Society (PRS) has proposed a plan to brand music search results based on their legality.

The new search system is inspired by traffic lights, with legitimate results flagged green and illegal download sites tagged red.

PRS argues that Joe 'web surfing' Public is often unaware that he's downloading illegally when browsing the web for tunes; the new branding system would leave no doubt.

Not site blocking

Robert Ashcroft, CEO of PRS, said, "There is evidence out there that if you help people go in the right direction many of them will do. We're concerned about piracy, there are many things we can do about it, but we should start by telling people what is licensed and what is not licensed."

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Alluding to the current proposal put forward by a group of rights holders hoping to implement website blocking in order to reduce piracy, Ashcroft added: "We're not trying to stop people, this isn't a legal action, this isn't site blocking."

Although PRS has come up with this great plan and would like to see it implemented "before the end of the year", it will still need to convince search engines to implement it; currently, Google has 'no comment' on the plans, while Bing and Yahoo are yet to respond.

At the tail end of 2010, Google announced that it was looking at ways to reduce copyright infringement in its search results, but not a great deal has materialised yet.