back to article Google guilty of copyright wrong

A French court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement and ordered it to pay half a million euros compensation to rights holders. The case was brought by film producer Mondovino along with documentary makers and photographers. The plaintiffs complained that Google had made their work available either on its search …

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Hopefully this is just the beginning...

Hopefully this will be followed by Goggle losses in *many* other similar court cases in *many* other jurisdictions.

These people have profited too much, for too long, by copyright infringement on a massive scale. They have gone beyond resolute refusals to take meaningful action to prevent Adsense financing pirate sites, for example, and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars attempting to abridge, curtail, and generally trample on the rights of content creators.

All I need do is remind you is that when Schmidt was faced with the statement that art has an intrinsic value, his response was "Prove it". Of course, the best proof of that statement that artistic creation has value, is Google's insistence on continuing to steal as much of it as possible, and its insistence on generating income by helping other websites that offer stolen, copyrighted content for download.

Hopefully Google will be shown, by more court unfavorable court decisions and massive awards, penalties, and fines that, yes, creative works *do* have an intrinsic value, and profiting by their theft is unacceptable.

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@turtle

What a complete and utter load of rubbish, if you dont want your stuff to appear on google , use robots.txt and it won't!

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Here's what to do...

Here's what to do: go to http://www.musictechpolicy.com/ and do some reading. This guy is following Google's actions and inactions very closely, and, unlike you, actually knows something about it. So you can learn something about the situation.

And incidentally, you might not be as smart as you think. Putting a robots.txt is not the stroke of genius you think it is, and doesn't take a lot of brain power. You might want to assume that maybe, just maybe, other people have thought of the idea, and that there could, possibly, be cogent reasons for not putting a robots.txt on a website. And then maybe you could, you know, "look into the matter" and find out why that is not the panacea you seem to think it is.

And how does a robots.txt help with the copyrighted content on Youtube, by the way? Or the source code that Google took from Oracle and released as Open Source? &c &c &c....

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Ooops!

Oh, and by the way, how does a robots.txt prevent Google from giving Adsense accounts to sites that offer downloads of copyrighted content,and knowingly selling keywords to them that will help these sites attract visitors who want to download copyrighted content? For some reason, I put that in my first post, and you chose to ignore it. But then again, if you think that the solution to the Google Thievery problem is a robots.txt, you are ignoring that, and plenty more besides.

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@lpf

I don't think we're talking about google search results here. The point is that google make a ton of cash off of YouTube and a lot of the content they serve is in violation of copyright. All you have to do to stop them infringing your copyright is ask them to take it down but, and this is a big but, you have to find it first.

This requires you to watch every video, or at least search diligently for a whole host of terms related to your content, to keep your content off of youTube. Even a company the size of Sony has difficulty policing their content on YouTube so what chance do smaller content providers have? Google make a ton of cash out of the work of others and their reluctance to take responsibility for it is criminal. robots.txt doesn't enter into it.

Now, I'm off to scan the globe in street view to see if I've ever been photographed so I can ask to be taken off....

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@sabroni And how wil Google know?

Even the music labels seem to accidentally send the odd takedown notice for things that they themselves put up. If the owners can't tell how is Google supposed to?

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Google has not made a ton of money from Youtube

Actually google have not made a ton of cash.

In fact it a loss earner for the company. I only just made profit of 100 million dollars or so, to put into context Google is said have loss anyware from 2-5 billion propping up Youtube since it bought it.

So no Google has not made a ton of money it made a ton of losses.

It may make a ton of money in the future but that the future not the past.

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@David 164

Woops, my bad, I assumed they were making money off Youtube. Doesn't really change the argument about whether what they are doing is right or not though, does it...?

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@LPF

That doesn't work.

Someone sees your work, copies it and Google snarfs it up.

Who's guilty?

Yup, that's why there are courts.

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on robots and oracles

Google respects robots.txt for search results. If you don't want Google specifically scraping your site, but for some reason Bing, Baidu and others are fine and dandy, block their IP addresses. If you don't trust the opt-out nature of the robots.txt then you can always password-protect your site.

As for the Sun^h^h^h Oracles and the alleged theft of the Java IP, well, Google is innocent until proven guilty. I for one don't buy it. Oracle is more evil then Google and this emanates the heady aroma of software patent trolling to me.

Beer, bcos I want one....

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@Gerhard Mack

How is google supposed to know? That's precisely the point, it is google's problem. If they want to be able to monetise their video site then they'll need to work out a way of keeping copyrighted content off of it. Record companies accidentally sending takedown notices for their own stuff is probably due to the amount of legitimate notices they have to send. I know Sony regularly ask for Scandal videos to be taken down, but the same videos will be visible again a few days later posted by someone else.

So either you don't believe in copyright (which is a different debate) or Google are in the wrong.

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@sabroni fault of the uploader

Google has no way to know who owns what. How can they know if that "drunk kid comes back from the dentist" is the real owner or someone who ripped it off. Similarly how can they know the difference between a guy who spends a few grand of his own money to have his music professionally mixed and a pirate? They are stuck running it against a music industry list of audio/video checksums and basically have to trust you when you click that box that says you have the right to distribute whatever you just upload.

Even if they had live screeners the problem would still be there and It's important to note that not even the recording industry gets held to the standards you are demanding. Just do a search for lawsuits related to their compilation CDs.

I fully believe in copyright and have the stacks of DVDs and Blu Rays to prove it. I just don't see how you can charge anyone except the original uploader.

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The effect of YouTube on the DVD movie industry

When I'm thinking of buying a DVD, I generally watch whatever samples are available on YouTube first, to get a better idea of whether it's worth getting the DVD.

And sometimes I buy DVDs (or music CDs) because I've stumbled across good excerpts from them on YouTube.

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@Gerhard Mack

Hey, I didn't demand anything, I was just saying it's not an impossible task (though admittedly bloody difficult!)

But in the end I agree with you, the uploader should be held responsible. I just find YouTube's "ask and we'll take it down" policy to be a bit of a cop out as it makes copyright holders responsible for finding the infringing content.

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@AC 14:26

No, you're bollocks, anonymous pussy. Sorry.

Guess what, google aren't doing this for the good of humanity. Grow up. They expect to make plenty of money out of you tube or they'd drop it. The mainstream music industry has definitely messed up by failing to exploit technology. That doesn't mean some other mega-corp can come in and exploit other people's work for nothing.

It's a complicated issue. To say that Google are wholly right and the music industry totally wrong is naive. To imply that Google are doing this for the good of the species is just wrong.

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exactly, but thats what they are failing to do.

How easy has Google made it for a person to publish such content?

Do they even need a "legitimate" e-mail address, or just set up a free gmail account?

If Google wanted to stop this is could in a heartbeat.

Require a name and address for people who want to use to Youtube account to upload content.

How else would you find the person for a criminal warrant?

Sure they can use fake names, but if Google also ties the IP used to the account (come on you KNOW they are already doing this anyways) and then bans/blocks any IP in violation from even getting to goole or youtube. Could content get up under faked names IP address? Sure it could, but it would be a hell of a lot harder and the copyright holders could maybe have a chance of protect their rights.

If Google's response is "its too hard to police", then its either B.S. or appears to be a untenable legal business model.

Granted I think IP rights should be limited to more like 5-15 years MAX regardless of the creators living status or self-importance. Truth is I've thought of dozens and dozens of things later patented, maybe I should just be more greedy, but I much rather the Patent office stop accepting obvious crap.

Here is a sweeping one:

If it is already done in the real world in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, and now it can be done on computers/virtually then it is not an INVENTION.

The computer/internet is the invention, EVERYTHING else on it is for the most part an OBVIOUS progression of society to this new platform. Believe me if one person doesn't think of simplifying shopping to a single click, then the NEXT ONE will.

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The music companies missed the boat (@ AC)

I am interested in J-pop, and have become pretty disillusioned by the cack pedalled in the UK charts. How have I found most of my material? Youtube. How else can I discover an artist on the other side of the planet who sings in her native language and is unknown here? That is when the nightmare begins, for CDs are frequently cheaper than the postage, and no legal mp3 options. Youtube offers the ability to weigh up an artist, see what their stuff is like, and perhaps more worryingly to them, see if the CD is a few good songs padded out with rubbish...

But, of course, this sort of thing will scare the shit out of the industry who is used to telling us what we are supposed to want (or am I the only one that was highly suspicious in the '90s of the "new entry straight in at number one!" of a song I've never heard before?). Sure, there are copyright issues, and there are tech issues, but I think the driving force here is that the technology gives us a choice, and choice != big profits, therefore it must be stamped upon at any opportunity.

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I think you'll find...

Google are usually guilty until proven guilty. They do things that if you or I were to do, we'd be arrested or sued. They do it anyway and usually get away with it.

Privacy invasion with streetview, wifi data slurping, stolen code made open source etc etc

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I can profit from this

I'll just setup a video hosting site. Wait for users to upload family guy, music videos etc etc and stick a bunch of ads next to the videos. Provided I don't review the videos, I'll be innocent! Just like Google :)

Youtube used to review videos before Google bought them. Thats why it took days for a video to appear. As usual, Google threw their weight around and said 'fuck copyright holders,we'll do what we want and wait for people to complain'.

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To a degree

You're right, to a degree. It would be impractical for a screener/manual reviewer to know every time that something violates someone elses copyright. However, a very large percentage of the videos could be rejected without any doubt. Such as the music videos, mp3 rips and tv shows. But of course that would put a dent in profits by having to pay manual reviewers.

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@AC 15:33

Yes, learned in the playground about 40 years ago. When did you learn to be ashamed of putting a name to your opinions?

I admit I don't know about a whole load of cool sounding Google projects. So what? They do some good stuff so we should give them carte blanche to do whatever they like? Your arguments don't really seem related to the issue of copyright infringement. To me it sounds like "they're good guys, don't pay attention to the bad stuff". That's not a convincing argument really, is it?

Do you post anonymously because you work for google? Sounds like it....

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@xman sortof

What you describe would only really block the top few songs/TV shows/ movies etc that are well known and popular but the rest of the artists would still be out of luck.

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watashi ha sumisu desu. nihon no bunka ga dai-su-ki- desu.

>>I am interested in J-pop

>>disillusioned by the cack pedalled in the UK charts.

So one is mass produced cack and the other is mass produced cack.. I'm really not getting your argument.

>>How else can I discover an artist on the other side of the planet

There is plenty of good music in the UK. If you go to a festival in Nippon you will soon realise that more than half the line up is from the UK. If you think that because its in Japanese that it makes it OK to listen to stuff thats basically Spice Girls level maybe there isn't much hope for you.

>> who sings in her native language and is unknown here?

I really like clammbon.. Heard one of their tunes on BBC radio 1..

>>CDs are frequently cheaper than the postage

SAL air mail is very cheap.

>>and no legal mp3 options.

Music piracy is a bit different in the land of the rising sun. You can actually rent music CDs here and people do seem to do that. I've found it pretty hard to actually find stuff to download.. like movies with Japanese subtitles for the wife. The only places that actually have anything for download have been "Otaku" or "j - nantoka kantoka suki!" sites that listeners with refined tastes like yourself run. You can always buy CDs from yesasia.

>>"new entry straight in at number one!" of a song I've never heard before?).

And you don't mind South Korean girls trained from birth to shake their ass and toot along in Japanese?

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@Gotbachov ... Tort Law is a bit different.

"As for the Sun^h^h^h Oracles and the alleged theft of the Java IP, well, Google is innocent until proven guilty. I for one don't buy it. Oracle is more evil then Google and this emanates the heady aroma of software patent trolling to me."

First there's this misconception of 'innocent until proven guilty'. That's criminal law.

In Civil law, things are a bit different. And then under Tort Law, they get a bit more complicated.

The point is that if/when Oracle makes the accusation, and the proffer evidence, the burden on the defense is to counter the claims raised by Oracle.

The fact that they already entered in to court documents infringing code, the burden of proof is on Google to show that the evidence offered by Oracle is faulty. And Oracle doesn't need to have all of its ducks in a row to file the lawsuit. They had enough to show that there was evidence and now they can go back to Google and check out their code repository. And that's the interesting part. A good forensic investigator can go to the repository and go through the releases. If something is missing, it would lend credence to Oracle's complaint.

From what I saw, there's enough evidence to suggest Google's infringement is real and that they don't have clean hands. Meaning that they reversed engineered (un-compiled) some of the code. (Which is a no no.)

If Google says... 'Your honor, the dog ate my hard drive...' its going to be an automatic win for Oracle. (See Trading Tech's latest win in Chicago.)

Both Oracle and Google are 'evil' and Google is more evil than Oracle, although Oracle's more shark infested than Google.

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@Daniel Palmer

Get over yourself. You come across as obnoxiously arrogant.

To someone who's listened to western pop all their life Asian pop can indeed sound quite different to what their used to. Asian pop music melody and structure can also be quite different to western music. The point being made was that youTube provides access to music from across the globe. That's not something you addressed at all, preferring to berate someone for being a little over enthusiastic about how different the music they've just discovered is.

You answer "how can I discover music from the other side of the planet" with "There is plenty of good music in the UK". Regardless of the veracity of that statement (it's debatable) that's not an answer to the original question.

Personally, the older I get the less I'm bothered by the distinction between "manufactured" music and "real" music. I listen to what I like to. I'd encourage others to do the same and stop worrying about whether it's cool or not! You can discover all kinds of bands on YouTube!

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huh?

>>Asian pop can indeed sound quite different to what their used to.

Except that most "Asian Pop" is weirdly similar to western RnB etc.. Including great phrases like "oh baby baby yeah!"

>>Asian pop music melody and structure can also be quite different to western music.

Really? In what way? You mean you can have different genres? How is that a regional thing?

>>The point being made was that youTube provides

>>access to music from across the globe.

And the BBC broadcast a ton of different specialist shows that do sometimes include material from Japanese artists. There is plenty of world music programming.

>> preferring to berate someone for being a little over enthusiastic about how different

>> the music they've just discovered is.

J-Pop isn't different from western pop most of the time in fact I think you would be hard pressed to find something that isn't trying to be "western". The only difference is the language it's sang in ( Although 99.9% of J-Pop includes a few bits of English). He said that UK music is "cack" and eluded to it being a scam.. The J-Pop industry churns out just as much cack as the UK pop scene.

>>Regardless of the veracity of that statement (it's debatable) that's

>>not an answer to the original question.

He said UK music is "cack" and that J-Pop is somehow better... which is total shit. There is good and bad in both. Japan has a ton of decent bands and so does the UK.. trying to argue that music from the UK is "cack" using J-Pop as an example of something "good" is very far fetched.

!(Japanese Poo > UK poo)

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@Daniel Palmer

The traditional music of a country influences it's contemporary music. Asian melodies can sound quite unusual to an ear accustomed to western melodies (I mean the notes chosen, the phrasing and the way a phrase will resolve.) This can add an interesting element to an otherwise western sounding piece of music. Some may find that very refreshing. This is what I mean by saying asian melody can be quite different to western melody.

The original poster was saying Youtube was a good way to discover asian pop music. You seem to think that the BBC is as good but I've never discovered any on the BBC whereas I've found loads on YouTube (ok, I mainly listen to Kpop not Jpop but the point is still valid!)

Besides which, the fact that you think asian pop is as "cack" as western pop is just your opinion. It's a question of taste and if someone enjoys asian pop and not western pop then they are not wrong, they just have different taste and opinions to you.

I'm not a big fan of J-pop, but I can see how someone who found the british charts dull could be enthused by discovering japanese pop music. You don't seem to be able to understand that. Hence my original comment on your arrogant attitude.

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Google-Apple

Just then I thought you were talking about Apple! lol.

They are the same thing though! Sheer arrogance with a FU attitude with the exception that Google has a faux-open source facade that a lot of 'independent' sheep have ignorantly lapped up. lol, pity the fools.

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@ LPF

Yeah right... because Google won't have a workaround for that will they.

Of course though, when it does come out that they have a workaround they will defend themselves by saying that it was developed "accidentaly."

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Happy

How about some details John?

What's the background to this? "Google had made their work available *either* on its search engine *or* on Google Video, despite demands to remove it."

EITHER / OR - come on, which was it? Material available on a search engine is easily controlled via robots.txt which Google bots obey - so material appearing via the search engine is largely under the users control unless that material has been copied to another site and is indexed from there ... which you can argue is not Googles' fault (maybe their problem but certainly not their fault).

Media files uploaded to yahoo etc were either uploaded by Google or someone else ... either Google did it or someone else did - who's to blame here?

I'm off to film myself taking a shower so that I can upload it to youtube and sue Google ... it's early retirement for me I think.

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ITT Too many people missing the point.

Most of Google's services are automated. Web 2.0 stuff has to be. If someone has a problem, they complain, there are procedures and it may be taken down. That is the only workable way of doing stuff.

If this is regarded as insufficient in a country to the point where you can get successfully sued for it, then you cannot do Web 2.0 stuff in that country. OK, Google will be the first to be parted with their currency, but they will only be the first. Eventually even bloggers could be hit. If copyrighted material is posted as a comment, the blogger could be punished. If they are responsible for the poster's copyright infringement, then it follows they are responsible for the poster's acts of libel or posting of child porn.

Web 2.0 only works if you can operate with something akin to the ISP's conduit clause. You are not responsible for 3rd party content, but do have a duty to act responsibly if a complaint is made regarding material that appears on your service in breach of the law.

So however much you dislike Google, and however much you want them to be screwed for doing things they shouldn't have done (hoovering private WiFi data etc), be aware that justice and the legal system are usually two entirely different things. The Italian case is particularly disturbing. Vicarious atonement has no place in any legal system.

The next step down the road of being responsible for everything that appears on your website is being responsible for everything that goes down your wires. If someone hacks your WiFi connection at home, at a cafe or at a hotel, would you like to be held accountable for what they download?

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If Google

I can't run their system or make any money without ripping off the creators shouldn't that be their problem?

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really?

>>Most of Google's services are automated. Web 2.0 stuff has to be. If someone has a problem, they complain, there are procedures and it may be taken down. That is the only workable way of doing stuff.<<

Don't think so. Google could pay people to screen the content. It might be viable financially, it might not be, but it certainly isn't impossible.

I'm in two minds about this, the boy watches a lot of genuine user generated content on YouTube and it would be a real pity for that to stop. I watch a lot of music videos on YouTube and the vast majority of these are copyright infringing, ie not posted by the content owner. Those probably should stop.

Some record companies buy into YourTube and have an official site, they get ad revenue and the users get good quality video. But that only goes so far, other video sites are available and unless we want a youTube monopoly of video sites this approach is only good for larger businesses.

It's a complicated issue, but the "it's web 2.0, it has to be that way" argument is in danger of becoming a green light to copyright infringement and where do the content creators stand in that situation? If I have a popular video and I don't want it on YouTube do I really have a choice?

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No

If it's that important to have the worlds information at your finger-tips, then it's the job of places like national libraries to do it.

It is not the job of a private organisation to do and then attempt to make money out of stealing someone elses work (yes, I know, it's copyright infringement).

There is a problem with the length of time copyright stays in place (especially given that copyright is frequently owned these days by a corporation, which never dies), but thats a different argument.

The reality is : what Google are doing is wrong; present copyright law is wrong.

They *both* need to be fixed, not one acquiesce to the wants/needs of the other.

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title is in icon

How can somebody's work "be available from a search engine"? What does that even mean except "they have left it in a public place and are complaining because somebody has noticed it"?

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could it mean,,,

..someone who didn't own it posted it on a public site? Or is that a bit too complicated?

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And why...

...is that Google's fault? and again, how can they tell? all works of a certain artistic value are copyrighted by default. My music compositions are automatically copyrighted to me (i use no one else's music, i make my own), but Google can never tell if they were meant to be spread on the internet (which they were). Technically speaking, only public domain stuff would be legal to index if this ruling is anything to go by, but that notion turned reality would break the internet.

You could argue that they could post the license with the content, but IANAL, and neither are most of the people creating this content. We cant read the license conditions in their original form with certanity. This is a dangerous precendent.

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Am I missing something......

...or is Google not a search engine? I simply don't understand how a seach engine can be blamed for the stuff it finds out there on the webz. Search engines find WEBSITES (well last time I looked they did) and if a WEBSITE is hosting copyrighted suff illegally then the WEBSITE needs to be taken down, or possibly the HOSTING COMPANY. How on earth do Google get the blame for 'making the work available' when all it has done os found one or more WEBSITES with it on?????

Now if it's to do with YouTube, which Google apparently owns then I thought that there was a way to get copyrighted material taken off....?

In other news, the AA were prosecuted for printing maps clearly showing streets where streetwalking has been known to occur at night, thus the AA were gulty of profiting from the proceeds of prostitution.......

Odd people, the French but I thought they were all for freedom and equality....?

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Not odd, just xenophobic

they just don't like anything that isn't French..food, music, films, TV (with the state saying over 40% of content has to be french and in french)and the day a Frenchman loses a case in a French court against a foreign company will be the day hell freezes over

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You are msising something.

Content owners complain that Google (YouTube) is not doing anything to limit the copious amount of their copyrighted material that Google is providing the to the general public on a daily basis on grand scale.

Also Search Engine or not - Google is hosting other peoples content on their google search servers.

Sure the copyright law has in the past allowed for a bit of fair use for creating indexes and other references.

I myself find that very often when I do a Google Search I am able to find in the text summary the answer I was looking for. In short Google has taken someone else's content, and provided it to me. At the same time they have stolen the ability of that content holder to either sell the same content to me, or require me to see ads to receive it.

This gets even further damaging for Google when they have been asked to remove the data and have failed to do so - even if it is index information. There is no portion of the Constitution or copyright law that refers to robots.txt, or any opt-out clauses either.

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he married a music artist

Does she play the flute; 'cuz she sure can't sing.

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here be titles

How is what appears in a search index of other peoples sites Googles fault?

If some copyright material was on utube or similar then there could be a case. I had a really quick dig around but I couldn't find any information on the actual violation only that Google rejected some demands from the film producer.

This just reeks of people thinking its to hard to go after the people commiting the illegal activity so lets blame Google.

No one complains when Google indexes what they want them too.

I bet Turtle starts actively foaming at the mouth when ever he hears the word google.

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Google Lovers

I find it very amusing how much love Register members have for Google. It seems they can do no wrong! lol. I see a new Reality Distortion Field in the making.

Anyway, glad they had their come-uppance - just as bad as Apple.

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To be fair

The lawsuit does not specify if Google was hosting the content, or merely linking to it. This smells a bit dodgy to me

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Ain't defendin'...

... ain't prosecutin'. However...

A number of responses appear to include variations on the theme of 'how can Google be found to be at fault if they're just a search engine pointing to 'stuff'' - Google didn't pirate the 'stuff' or host it.'

Well and all. Maybe it's right, and maybe it's wrong (I'll pass on the whole 'weak or strong' thing and apologise to Mssrs Kalmar and Ruby). But 'those who let you find stuff they don't host but that other people don't want found' can be, um, found guilty in law of being bad people. Just ask The Pirate Bay.

More times than one people have wondered why the RIAA and the like don't go after Google just as hard as they chased TPB and other P2P operations. Looks like the French courts may support a similar view...

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Stop

A few differences...

legally I think you are right but letting TPB off would be to say that actively and expressly facilitating piracy is OK, and i think that is why TPB 4 went to jail. If you cant see the difference, look at the other stuff below their search engine.

Google takes down copyrighted stuff on notification. TPB tells them to **** off and makes a public example of them.

Google does not expressly allow people to post copyrighted material (infact it specifically DISALLOWS people from doing this, as found in their upload procedures). TPB's logo is a pirate ship (a play on the term 'piracy') with a cassette tape on the front, with the only disclaimers being that they wont be held responsible if you do host copyrighted material (and it is the end users who host in BitTorrent)

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