back to article Google free again to pump out porn thumbnails

It's once again easy to consume porn online after a US court ruled in favor of search juggernaut Google's right to display tiny pictures of naked people. A San Francisco appeals court has reversed a lower court's preliminary injunction that barred Google from displaying thumbnail-size pornographic images from the Perfect 10 …

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Hoist by their own petard

Google says it honours crawler controls such as robots.txt. If Perfect 10 was serious about preventing their images appearing on Google they should have taken the obvious step of putting crawler control files on their website.

It appears that they didn't do that. If they had they'd have sued Google for telling porkies about robot exclusion and won the case.

Of course, installing controls would have also hidden their site from surfers cruising Google for pr0n. This explains why they probably didn't install them.

To me this case sounds like pure greed by Perfect 10. They were trying to have their cake and eat it too.

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mod re-write .htaccess type solution thing

Not 100% sure about this but I think that server trickery allows for a certain level of control to what content is fetched by a third party server or bot.

Can one, for example, include a rule that any image that is requested by Google be replaced by one depicting test shouting 'yo! keep yer hands off our pr0n!'?

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Trickery will get you nowhere

"server trickery allows for a certain level of control"

A server can return something different when it detects it is googlebot that is making the request. But google occasionally checks anonymously to ensure that the server is returning the same content to googlebot as it returns to ordinary browsers -- and at that time, google will rightly demote the site for misrepresentation.

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Anonymous Coward

robots.txt

You're thinking of robots.txt which tells search engine crawlers like Google's where they're not welcome. Though .htaccess can be used (and indeed, should always be used) to block bots that ignore robots.txt among many, many other features like preventing image hotlinking, blocking by referrer, etc. etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Facts, get them before commenting

The case has nothing to do with robots.txt. Perfect 10 sued because all the pictures on google that are on the image search are pirated images. I am sure perfect 10 wouldn't mind google sending traffic its way, however, all the traffic google would create goes to some sites that stole the pictures and are giving the pictures away for free. And I am sure they sent notices, and never removed them.

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ok, well, yeah

"The case has nothing to do with robots.txt."

The article seems to suggest otherwise.

Another thought, if I may.

Porn sites in the US are now required to keep a record / proof of the models they publish pics / vids of. Secondary producers (eg. affiliates) are also required to hold this info (I think).

Shouldn't Google to the same then for each XXX pic is displays?

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