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back to article Judge orders search giants: Delist Chanel rip-off merchants

A US court has ordered the de-listing of more than 200 sites selling counterfeit Chanel goods from the search engines of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and – er – anybody else. In a wide-ranging ruling, the US district court for Nevada ordered the offending sites be: "De-indexed and/or removed from any search results pages …

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I interpreted that article to mean that a judge had ordered Chanel to stop selling its ridiculously expensive smelly water.

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FAIL

Due Process? Not Any More

The judge seems to have forgotten a few rules of law included in the US Constitution. That includes "due process", the requirement to follow proper procedure, and the right to face your accuser in court.

By all means, if the sites are selling counterfeit goods or infringing trademarks, they should be held accountable. But they should be held accountable following the rule of law, not a system of "punish first, then find if they were guilty".

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Anonymous Coward

what about in a whitelist situation?

I don't know how they operate, but what if Chanel already know the names of all legitimate resellers?

Then, it's a pretty simple situation, if the name isn't on the list then either the stuff isn't genuine, or the sellers got hold of it nefariously.

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But they should be held accountable following the rule of law, not a system of "punish first, then punish some more".

FIFY

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Bronze badge

Asset forfeitures laws changed all of that Dani. The concept now is that it's the site that is breaking the law . Since the site is not a person it has no protection under due process. It's this same concept that allows police to confiscate money from you then it's up to prove that it came from a legal source. This can be done with out a warrant any court oversight or permission from police higher ups.

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Flame

What about re-sellers on ebay... Granny died and she had 8 bottles of the smelly stuff so I'm trying to get rid of them to clear her estate.. Oh I'm sure they would go after me... even though I am not selling counterfeit.

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This is going to be fun

Meanwhile, the site's owners have been instructed to stop using the Chanel trademark or similar, confusing, trademarks in the domain's name extensions, meta tags, website source code, ad links, search engine databases or caches.

How the hell are you supposed to be able to remove the offending data from all the worlds, DNS, proxy and browser caches as well as the wayback machine and anywhere else thatstores data of the net.

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Boffin

Not fun, but not too difficult.

You remove the listed sites from your information. So if there's something on FB, then they remove it. FB can manage their own site.

Google can take care of their own site too.

Dns cache?

If GoDaddy transfer domain info to point to take down court orders.., then ou don't have to worry about DNS caching... Now do they?

Keep in mind that this is all legal and technically doable.

So I guess it will help stem the flow of knock offs on products I ont buy...

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Anonymous Coward

As someone that works with search engines, this request from this judge is brain-stunningly clear. I expected more tech-illiterate babble. "De-list" is pretty much either drop them out of your crawl list or place them in a do not crawl list. And "de-index" is to remove them out of your current index which depending on what search engine you are using might be automatically accomplished by the first action. It takes about one cut and paste and few mouse-clicks to do both of these actions.

"How the hell are you supposed to be able to remove the offending data from all the worlds, DNS, proxy and browser caches as well as the wayback machine and anywhere else thatstores data of the net."

I know we are more tech savvy than that here. We shouldn't play stupid. There is no reason to remove them from any caches because they are caches. They will remove themselves in time. And who does shopping on the internet using the wayback machine? Honestly. If anything, the people selling the illicit goods would want to remove them from the wayback machine to eliminate evidence of their crimes.

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Boffin

"this request from this judge"

It's not a request, it's an order: "the US district court for Nevada ordered the offending sites be: "De-indexed and/or removed from any search results pages …"

If you really are someone who works with Search Engines, I suggest you list the ones that you work for so people can ensure that you are actually obeying the law, rather than saying "OMG this Judge says we have to de-list them, so we must do that immediately, regardless of due process or any other such legal niceties."

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easy to say....

"Google can take care of their own site too."

Not sure if judges or politicians understand this but a search engine is not a censor engine. A search engine's nature and function is to discover and update, not to suppress.

Sure you *could add a filter/censor application as a middle-man between the search UI and the search back-end. But who will pay for its development? Who is going to maintain it? Who will keep the filters accurate and who will oversee the operation to protect the public from more malignant censorship?

It just sounds like Pols and Judges are using the good old "I don't understand what you're saying so shut up and do it" argument techs have been dealing with since the dawn of epoch time.

Time to reboot, America, we've hit another divide-by-zero error.

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A title is optional

"Not sure if judges or politicians understand this but a search engine is not a censor engine. A search engine's nature and function is to discover and update, not to suppress."

And yet Google does in fact have mechanisms in place to de-list and de-index sites, and has had for many years. When they receive a court order to remove a site, they place it on chillingeffects.org and they make a notation in the search results that reads something to the effect of "Due to a court order, 1 search result was removed from this list" with a link to the relevant order on chillingeffects.org. I've seen Google search results which include such entries.

Usually, the do this for DMCA complaints. Sometimes, they do it because they've been formally notified that a site is hosting child porn or some other illegal content. In any case, they just nuke it from their results and then show a link to the particular order demanding its removal.

The mechanism is pretty robust. In addition to posting a link to chillingeffects, they'll also send emails regarding the removal to the role accounts of the associated Web site (such as postmaster@) and to the administrative contact in the site's Whois. If you're using a "privacy protection service" on the Whois and you don't pay attention to emails sent to role accounts, well, you're buggered, but that's hardly Google's fault.

Incidentally, a minor side note: a court order *is* "due process".

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Anonymous Coward

Sure why not target at the base?

Why doesn't Chanel target the manufacturors of these counterfeit goods?

This is just stupid. Targetting companies who only index webpages (usually using blind programs/robots whom simply list the page without really understanding the pages themselves). Just ridiculous. It's not Google, FB or those others that manufacture, sell and distribute these goods.

mean comon. Sueing the newspaper because some low-life advertises in it with counterfeit goods instead of sueing the low-life themselve. Djeez, decadence to the top.

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Devil

Dear Mr Nevada Judge...

....you really don't have the power you think you do.

Sincerely,

The Internet.

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Big Brother

Dear The Internet

If you're using a .com, .net or .org TLD or using the services of any company that is registered in the US, then you really don't have the freedom you think you do.

Sincerely,

Uncle Sam.

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Dear Internet

It may be very difficult for you to avoid breaking the law, but ultimately that's your problem rather than mine.

Sincerely,

Nevada Judge

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Facepalm

and next time..

He may as well say, "While you're at it, fix all the things!" Then we can all live in peace and no one will ever be sad again.

I'm surprised that they were able to:

1) Find all the web sites.

2) Order a sample from all 200 sites.

3) Put each of the 200 cataloged samples in a gas-chromatograph-mass-spectrometer.

4) List the exact chemical make-up of each proving they are in fact knock-offs.

5) Prove all this in one court in one state in one country.

6) Expect the every person in the world to jump into action to help stop this horrible scourge of selling fake crap to cheap/ignorant people.

Really, Channel perfume for only $2, what a bargin, seems legit, where can I put my credit card info in?

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As in other nations

Not all of the judges in the US are up to the moment on the latest technologies. Or even the decade. They chose a profession that moves more slowly for a reason.

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Chanel?

Why would anybody want to mask the good old fashioned smell of carbolic soap with such rubbish.

The only reason I can think of for using perfume is to cover up not having had a shower for the last few days and even then the nautral odour is preferable to the headache inducing stench of scent.

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Anonymous Coward

Quick scan of the order.

GoDaddy were singled out as they are hosting the sites.

All the sites are using US domains, therefore covered by US powers of seizure.

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Anonymous Coward

Counterfeit?

Are they really after counterfeiters? Or are they just trying to enforce price maintenance and kill off those choosing to take a smaller margin of profit?

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Trollface

The easiest way to delist

Would be for all the search sites to put of a notice when someone searches for Chanel stating something like "We have been ordered to delist searches for counterfeit versions of Chanel so ALL searches for Chanel (including legitimate) will be re-directed to this 404 page in order to protect ourselves from litigation since we have no way of knowing if you are trying to search for real or counterfeit products"

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Thumb Up

+1

Banning the word is the best response. NOONE would sue them over this silliness again.

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+1 again

Yes. Remove all references to Chanel perfume from the web.

No-one will die, it doesn't matter.

Chanel survived 120 years before the invention of the web, so they must have other methods of reaching their gullible halfwit^W^W public

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Other methods of reaching the public

Yes, pretentious full page ads in the Sunday Times. Right next to the 30 grand car who's most important feature is an iPod dock.

A fool and his money...

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fantastic idea - as others said, nobody would be stupid enough to sue a search engine, social network site again.

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Wouldn't it be a shame

Wouldn't it be a shame if somehow the Nevada district court's web site got mis-identified by Chanel as an offending site because of all its discussion about counterfeiting Chanel, and got seized.

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Overreach....

So how exactly does he plan on enforcing this judgement on those who are not parties to the dispute?

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Meh

This is what happens when legislation hasn't caught up with protecting legitimate companies.

It shouldn't take a company like Chanel to be in a court proving that it's the victim of people using it's name or using channels that it has not approved.

Question is when will we realise that the internet is not the wild west, where people can arbitrarily trample over other peoples and companies rights?

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Unhappy

"Question is when will we realise that the internet is not the wild west, where people can arbitrarily trample over other peoples and companies rights?"

Probably about the same time the governments and multi-national companies stop trampling all over OUR rights.

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A title is optional

"Probably about the same time the governments and multi-national companies stop trampling all over OUR rights."

Err... You don't actually have a right to use someone else's trademark without their permission.

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Big Brother

Err... You don't actually have a right

to use someone else's trademark without their permission.

But governments are doing it all the time by doing things we object to in the name of all its citizens.

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Thumb Down

You missed the point, Franklin!

Respect for rights is pointless if it is in the direction of little person > company/government/rich person/powerful person. That is merely servility. Rights are worth anything only when they are respected by the company/government/rich person/powerful person > little person. Arguably, we wouldn't need rights if power abuses didn't take place.

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Anonymous Coward

Anti-Chanel

All this do is create aversion for these brands/companies. A few well-known tech-corps also have these tactics with adverse effect on their popularity. It shows how unrealisticly stupid these large companies are run these days.

No wonder why the western world is in shambles.

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Joke

chanel register must be bricking it right now, always thought that part of the site was dodgy

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"top" brands

It's always Chanel, Vuitton, etc making these complaints. Of course it has nothing to do with them artificially keeping their prices high by only allowing sales via "authorised" outlets. That's what is cheap about them.

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