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back to article Google compressed-filth legal battle with smut site ended in US

A publisher of adult photos can no longer raise claims that Google infringed its copyright in the US following a stipulation by a district court in California. The court said Perfect 10's claims that Google infringed its rights had been "voluntarily dismissed with prejudice", and that the publisher could not appeal against the …

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So my question is

If Perfect10 charged money for these pictures, how is it that Google's spider app was able to index them? Sounds like they didn't do a very good job of protecting them.

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Re: So my question is

I was about to post the same thing. I would imagine that Google would respect "robots.txt" and if the Google bot can get at the images, it kinda implies that anyone else could by simply walking the site using wget or similar.

So either they didn't define "robots.txt" properly, didn't correctly check sessions, didn't have proper security or some combination of all three.

And what did Perfect10 want? Google (and Yahoo, Bing, AltaVista etc) to not index them?

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Re: So my question is

Completely agree guys - I highly doubt that Perfect 10 were upset with the amount of traffic Google would push their way. If they haven't set up stuff to not get indexed that they don't want indexing, that really is purely their fault. Plus thumbnails = preview = new customers, as far as I can tell they were trying to sue Google for making their business more profitable?!?!

Funnily we have a product called Perfect 10 at work, you'd be amazed how often the wrong website gets loaded up in error..!!

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Happy

Re: So my question is

Funnily we have a product called Perfect 10 at work, you'd be amazed how often the wrong website gets loaded up in error..!!

At least "loaded in error" is what people tell the boss. ;-)

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Black Helicopters

Re: So my question is

Just what I was wondering.

However, quite a bit of paywalled content is indexed because the servers recognize Google's user-agent string and let it fetch the content without logging in. In (cough) theory, you can sometimes set your browser to spoof that user-agent and get through.

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Re: So my question is

From what I understood, other web sites were illegally publishing the pictures, which were then crawled by Google.

Fun fact: The founder of Perfect 10 is a math professor turned poker player. Met him at an academic conference once.

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Re: So my question is

Yes, if the content is blocked then presumably the only way Google can index it is if they specifically let googlebot through.

So are they complaining that Google is indexing stuff that they deliberately allowed Google to see so that it could be indexed? If they only wanted the text indexed then it would be trivial to let that through and block the images.

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Re: So my question is

Accident... similar name... Yeah! That's the ticket!

Or for the youngsters... ORLY?

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Paris Hilton

I think I speak for everyone when I say

Where is the sexy footage?

Paris, because... well, no Megan Fox icon yet.

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Pirate

I'm Confused!

When TPB link to copyrighted media ISP's are ordered to block access, Google link to copyrighted media and it's OK?

El Reg: I think we need to see the pictures; purely in the interests of ballanced reporting.

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Re: I'm Confused!

It's easy to become confused, but the difference is clear.

Google's company policy = Do no Evil

TPB's company policy = it varies between 'come and get it' and 'fuck off'

I don't think Google's squillions of dollars has anything to do with it. Oh, you didn't mention that? Silly me, ignore that last.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm Confused!

My thoughts exactly...comments like

"It also said that Google was not responsible for the copyright violations of other sites which it framed and linked to.

It also ruled that Google could not be said to be distributing the full-size images because it did not hold a copy of them and that it merely indexed them instead."

Seem wholly inconsistent with rulings on TPB, and reasons for extradition. If Google are not guilty due to the above then how can you extradite a kid based on the same criteria.

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Re: I'm Confused!

Are you all for real? Is it that hard to see the difference in intent between a site which indexes _everything_, including the occasional pirated content, and a site which aims so specifically to index pirated content that it is, well, named after it?

I don't want to assume commenters here are as thick as mince, but let's re-state that, just in case.

The law takes intent into account.

There, can't get much simpler than that. That's why there's different crimes for killing people - accidentally, in self defence, in a moment of rage or because you don't like them, they all carry different sentences.

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Re: I'm Confused!

@AndyS

Yes and no. Googles intent is to index the whole of the net. However, what was questioned in this case was the use of thumbnails, which is a presentation mechanism that Google uses as part of its business. So, they are showing a preview of the image. However, TPB are indexing whatever people ask it to index. Same as many other sites. Rather than trawling the whole of the internet, they are simply asking people to provide indexing. They don't show thumbnails. Therefore, the 'intent' of google is to show previews of material, some of which they know full well will be in copyright violation. If you believe the industry, this could be a hell of a lot. What does google do to prevent this? Nothing at all. However, TPB is not showing any preview or the imagine in any way, shape or form. If indexing is allowed, as per the judgement, TPB is actually in less violation than google as they don't show the previews!!

Yes, the law does take intent into account, but you can't show intent by the contentof the site. Just because TPB may have 'pirate' in their name and may index mostly pirated material doesn't show intent, especially as the site owners don't control the indexing!! You could argue they're doing nothing to stop it, and I would agree. But then, neither is Google!! Both companies are making money out of indexing (advertising etc.). So, what is the difference.....................

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Re: I'm Confused!

to the best of my ability to read it (IANAL), the court of Appeal didn't say 'Well, linking to stuff is a really, really Bad Thing Mr Google, but we can see you only did it by accident. So we'll let you off this time, provided you make sure you never do it again'. They didn't say ''Well, linking to stuff is a really, really Bad Thing Mr Google, but we can see your technology and business model mean you have to do it, so we'll pretend it isn't happening'. They said 'Linking to stuff isn't copying stuff, and, like, isn't copyright breach'. Linking to stuff. Just like wot Mr O'Dwyer did. And the Court of Appeal verdict was in 2007 - the same year Mr O'Dwyer set up his site.

Of course, I probably got it wrong. After all, I'm...

The Idiot

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Re: I'm Confused!

Google index "everything" - i.e. stuff they have not made. Stuff that belongs to other people. Stuff that they do not have the copyright for. Is that not what various news outlets were complaining of? And what of the stock photo companies who now get less revenue because everyone just copies an image from Google image search these days?

Also, TPB is user contributed so anything can be indexed there too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm Confused!

I agree with the idea that there is a double standard but keep in mind that TPB is not currently blocked in the US where this case occurred.

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Joke

Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

There really are some weird fetishes on the internet these days. Thumbnail porn indeed! I have heard of toenail porn but thumbnails is taking it way to far! We need the goventards to block this filth I tell you!

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Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!

No, no not like that! Stop it!

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Trollface

Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

I'm just hoping that Mr David Cameron MP has taken note and is having a breakfast meeting with that Dear Deirdre women and that awful newspaper man (no not the crazy fool one).

When oh when will they block this filth, my child does NOT need to see that kind of disgraceful images. As a parent I will now insist that all visitors will wear gloves!

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Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

Forgot a bit?

The 'And they are thumbnails and I have to squint even more while I'm knocking one out."

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Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

Turning Japanese ?

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Aha!

"The Court said that the creation and display of thumbnail images was not copyright infringement."

Can I argue that an .mp3 is a thumbnail of a .wav?......

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Anonymous Coward

So Perfect 10 was "shirley" benefiting from the traffic coming to it's site from the Google links? If Perfect 10 want to be stupid, Google should cut all links to Perfect 10 and see how they like it when their smut traffic goes down by 80%!

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Except no, because the links went to pirate sites, not Perfect 10. So if you searched for Perfect 10, Google told you where to find pirated images.

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Exactly the point here

@AndyS

Exactly the point Andy. TPB is indexing pirated material, potentially Perfect 10 pictures. And, Google is indexing pirated material, including Perfect 10 pictures. So, the difference is?????

There is no difference. In law, even if you don't have intent, you are still guilty of the crime, just at a lower level. However, Google have been told they haven't committed the crime, therefore TPB haven't either. The level at this point is irrelevant. If you kill someone accidently, you are guilty of manslaughter. If you kill them deliberately with forethought, you are guilty of murder. The lack of intent to kill in the former does not make you any less guilty of a crime. It's just the severity is reduced. So, either both Google and TPB are guilty (at the respective level according to intent), or both are innocent.

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Anonymous Coward

Manslaughter/murder

What you wrote there is completely wrong as far as English law is concerned. The distinction is "malice aforethought", not intent to kill. Deliberately kill someone for their own good: not murder. Intend just to injure but kill accidentally: is murder.

If you can't even get that right, what are the chances of your vague analogy with copyright infringement having any legal validity whatsoever?

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FAIL

Re: Manslaughter/murder

@AC.

Afraid you need to look beyond the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry. Then, you would understand. I didn't necessarily use the correct legal definitions (because they are often confusing unless in the legal business), but the argument and analogy remains true.

Essentially, murder requires a prior intent to kill or a blatant disregard for the persons safety and therefore a lack of care if they are mortally injured. There are definitions of what represents malice aforethought, but basically they equate to this. The principle word is aforethought....e.g. prior intent. Manslaughter is when you kill someone without prior intent or disregard for their safety. For instance.......if there is a fight in the street and you punch someone, they fall and die through hitting their head on the pavement, you may well be charged with manslaughter.

By the way, you cannot deliberately kill someone for their own good and not face a murder charge. There have been numerous cases recently where someone has killed or aided the death of a relative and has faced murder charges. In the most recent cases, whilst technically guilty of murder, the CPS has chosen not to continue with a prosecution as 'it would not be in the public interest'. However, there is nothing in law that allows you to kill someone, even if they ask you to.

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Re: Manslaughter/murder

@Mad Mike.

Just to be exactly correct, there are a few exclusions that allow you to legally kill someone, such as legal execution, soldier at time of war, self-defence, but nothing in the sense that AC was referring to. In law, it is not accepted that killing someone can be in their best interests. In normal civilian senses and under normal circumstances, the only one you might meet is self-defence and I can't imagine the person who then ask for it, or think it's in their best interests.

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Re: Manslaughter/murder

If a person is (very) terminally ill and in great pain, it is possible to give that person medication which will relieve that pain, even though one of the side effects maybe the death of the person concerned.

However I must stress that IANAL and do *not* try this at home.

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Re: Manslaughter/murder

@Maty.

True, but very dodgy ground. I know it goes on, but anyone doing this is treading a very fine line. Provided the reason for administering the medication is pain relief, it is technically OK. However, it's pretty widely acknowledged that if relatives complain etc., the nurse or doctor can be on shaky ground. Personally, I think this is just compassion and similar to recent judgements where people who have helped relatives die have not been tried as it's not 'in the public interest'.

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Legal question

"It also ruled that Google could not be said to be distributing the full-size images because it did not hold a copy of them and that it merely indexed them instead."

Isn't that the same legal argument that was rejected when The Pirate Bay tried to use it? Why the double standard? Isn't the law supposed to be consistant?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Legal question

Well for starters, it's a different judge, different jurisdiction, different situation, different plaintiff/defendant/lawyers, different legal argument...

Do I need to continue?

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Re: Legal question

@AC.

True, but the UK/USA juristictions do not necessarily make that much difference. One of the strange things around the world, is that a huge amount of the world uses a legal system based and very similar to the UK one. When you look at the British empire of the past, you can see why. Indeed, it's quite common for US cases to be quoted in British courts and vice versa and to be used as legal precedent!!

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Re: Manslaughter/murder

It should also be noted that prior intent (while a modifying factor when someone is killed) is not always considered e.g. statutory rape - "I though she was over [insert local age limit]!". But perhaps this is getting OT.

I agree that this isn't factually different from what TPB were doing and Google probably cared about as much about infringement as TPB did (i.e. not at all), judging by the recent android case. The difference is that Google lie ("Do no evil") and TPB are blatant about it.

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Re: Manslaughter/murder

@A 11.

I agree. Google claim to be whiter than white, which everyone knows is rubbish, but TPB were blatant. However, the law is supposed to be impartial and deals with facts not veneer. But then, we all know the truth!!

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