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back to article Google ordered to censor 'torrent', 'megaupload' and more words

The French Supreme Court has ruled that Google should censor the words ‘torrent’, ‘rapidshare’ and ‘megaupload’ from its Instant and Autocomplete search services. Music industry group SNEP asked the court to stop the terms from coming up in Google’s searches because, it claimed, the Chocolate Factory was thereby facilitating …

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Anonymous Coward

Avast!

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Anonymous Coward

Pirates came to take their music.

The music industry came and took our right to free speech.

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FAIL

what this is really about

The french are just doing this as a back door way to eliminate more dirty english words from their "pure" country.

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Anonymous Coward

This is not a problem

This is NOT a problem, from now on substitute a word for a word and publicise it.

Torrent: to FREAKYFRENCHPM

Rapidshare: to FROGGIEGARLICSTINK

Megaupload: to BARACKBIGNOSE

Then when these are banned substitute them with ....... Etc etc etc.

PROBLEM SOLVED.

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Anonymous Coward

So much for personal freedom in France.

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Zut alors!

Are they really banning all results containing the word "torrent"? What about genuine legal torrents like Ubuntu install images, for example?

Why is it assumed every single torrent out there is a pirate copy of something?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Zut alors!

... because they're French.

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JDX
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Are they really banning all results containing the word "torrent"?

No. Read the article.

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Re: Zut alors!

Are they really banning all results containing the word "torrent"?

No.

They are just making it less likely that someone who wasn't looking for this sort of thing in the first place would find it. Which will obviously solve the whole issue of piracy at a stroke.

I guess they might cause moderate inconvenience to an extremely forgetful or dsylexic pirate this way.

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Re: Zut alors!

"dsylexic"

Someone call Alanis.

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Re: Zut alors!

St'i lkie rnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaai...

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Re: Zut alors!

Torrents are illegal in France, has been for a number of years.

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FAIL

Gotta love those Frogs.

And what if someone wanted to look up a "torrent of rain"? Guess it's illegal in France.

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JDX
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Re: Gotta love those Frogs.

Then type in "torrent of rain" and hit search.

Anyway this "it could mean something else" argument is bogus... you could equally say "they shouldn't stop 'blow job' in autocomplete because that's the name of my favourite band".

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Re: Gotta love those Frogs.

what if someone wanted to look up a "torrent of rain"? Guess it's illegal in France.

They'd probably subvert this by searching in French.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gotta love those Frogs.

I'm more of the opinion they shouldn't stop 'blow job' in autocomplete because there's nothing wrong with 'blow job'....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gotta love those Frogs.

"They'd probably subvert this by searching in French."

You mean, they would search for "un torrent de pluie"?

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Happy

Re: Gotta love those Frogs.

"I'm more of the opinion they shouldn't stop 'blow job' in autocomplete because there's nothing wrong with 'blow job'...."

I'm more of the oppinion that there is something very right about 'blow job' :D

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FAIL

Isn't it lucky ...

... that there's only a finite number of words that could be used to describe the pirate downloads, and that none of them conflict with other uses for those words. In any language.

"SNEP chief David El Sayegh" - how long before they use 'Sayegh' to mean 'torerent'? One day? Maybe two?

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g e
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Re: Isn't it lucky ...

Looking for a 'France' of Iron Man 2

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Re: Isn't it lucky ...

Just as long as you don't ask for a 'Belgium'.

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Pint

its easier to search at the well know torrent sites that are pretty reliable than searching google to go to some malware site.

Also all you have search for for a http download is "whatever rar" or "whatever zip" and there will be links through to mediafire, uploaded, 4shared etc. Rapidshare is crap nowadays and we all know what happened to megaupload - dickheads!!!

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hmmmm if I read that correctly they are not banning any terms from search results, only from the autocomplete.

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FAIL

Epic FAIL, and no messing

"Supreme Court has reversed the decision, saying that the relief sought by the group was likely to prevent or partially stop infringements."

Perhaps someone should sit these people down and tell them what a computer is, then perhaps how to use one, and maybe even as far as what the internet is. If they still think that what they have suggested is likely to "prevent or partially stop infringements", take them out the back and retire them.

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JDX
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Re: Epic FAIL, and no messing

Damn right. Replace them all with techy know-it-all teenagers, that'll solve everything.

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Re: know-it-all teenagers

If you think banning "torrent" from auto-complete will "prevent or partially stop infringements" then it is you who needs to be taken out the back and retired. This measure doesn't even stop you from searching for torrent. It merely forces you to type the word into the search box rather than clicking on an auto-complete. If I'd invented this story to lampoon tech-illiterates within the legal system, you'd be first in the queue to tell me how ridiculous it was and how "real judges have three digit IQs, you know".

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Facepalm

Re: Epic FAIL, and no messing

Thats not what he said or intended.

But come on! This rules shows clear lack of understanding of the matter at hand. It's not going to change ANYTHING. (I mean, who needs auto-complete in the first place? Sure it's handy at times, but typing in the word torrent takes maybe 0.25 seconds?)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Epic FAIL, and no messing

Or maybe they understand them much better than you. The judgement actually points out explicitly that the links are not necessarily hosting pirated contents, that the users are responsible, not Google, BUT that Google Suggest always linked first to pirated content links - because surprisingly, shockingly, incredibly, those are the most popular. when people look for terms like "Megaupload"...

They only say it will make it "more difficult" the search for illegal sites, without expecting it to be "fully effective".

A well-balanced decision, that's not overreaching in any way. They are explicitly *not* trying to stop all access to illegal content by somebody who is voluntarily looking for it. They are explicitly *not* confusing Google with the provider of illegal content.

So, if you're looking for Chinese-style censorship, it's just not here.

Go have a look:

http://www.courdecassation.fr/jurisprudence_2/premiere_chambre_civile_568/832_12_23884.html

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'A well-balanced decision'

I think you mean 'the thin end of the wedge'.

It IS censorship. Sure - its censorship of something apparently meaningless and pointless, but it is still censorship carried out at the request of commercial interests without them even proving there will be any real benefit to their business or consideration of the impact on freedom of speech.

Does this one change have any significant impact on the daily web useage of normal French people ? Non.

Should they be worried about what it says about their legal system and the potential for it's misuse by large commercial interests? Absolument!

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Anonymous Coward

How long before they demand that Google also censor the words "eating" "surrender" "monkeys" and "cheese" ?

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The day after then ban all searches for "Wine" that deliver non French sites.

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Wow, this will really stop torrenting. Pity it won't stop t0rrenting...

Morons.

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Coat

That's what they'll do. They'll call it something else.

Mines the coat with the pockets full of magnet links.

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Re: That's what they'll do. They'll call it something else.

How do they work?

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Stop

FINE!

Right, well then, I'll just have to type the full 7 letters in "torrent", rather than clicking the suggested search.

This extensive extra work on my part will stop me downloading copyrighted material FOR SURE.

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Re: FINE!

The judgement isn't intended to stop you torrenting. It's intended to stop Google from incidentally advertising pirate movies and such.

If you go to Google and type in 'Iron Man 2012' autocomplete is likely to give you options such as 'Iron Man 2012 Cam DivX .torrent'. As a result of this judgement if you do the same search in France then you won't get any of the piracy related suggestions appearing in autocomplete (supposedly). You'll still get the full uncensored search results when you hit enter though.

It's the same logic proponents of the CleanFeed used to use. It won't stop people who are actively looking for pirate content (kiddie porn in the case of CleanFeed) but it will stop your average Joe from just stumbling across it by accident.

To be honest I think the case was a massive waste of time and money for all involved. It won't have the impact SNEP hopes it will and it's yet one more step down the road of censorship for the French government. That said, the sky isn't falling either which you'd be forgiven for thinking was the case considering some of the hysterical posts by my fellow commentards.

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Stop

stupid

Oxford should remove words from their dictionary then because it too is an index that people can search... People should not be allowed to say words like Torrent or download either as speaking is still the number one method of communication in the world last time I checked.

The media industry has been too slow to react to the changing times so rather than utilise the technology to provide their content they are trying to maintain their stubborn square peg round hole methodology and go against the developments.

The internet is ultimately a communication tool, you can try to word it differently but it creates a link from a to b, and c, and d and e... This linkage enables the consumer to directly communicate with the creator, removing a lot of the requirement of the 'provider' i.e. the record labels. So all this bull about 'people are harming the music industry by downloading' is wrong, the industry itself is harming the industry by trying to ensure all 'traffic' (traffic in this case is media) goes via them.

It's the same with energy companies, in fact many service or content providers, if you are not the producer you are merely a bottleneck which channels the content and distributes it to the consumer, i.e. you add nothing to the original product and take a cut...

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Happy

Obvious solution.

Automagically replace any terms they object to with "Vichy". That should remind 'em of what happens when you abide by rules dictated by a bunch of fascists.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obvious solution.

First time I went to Switzerland - in the mid-nineties - a group of us went out for a meal (a bit of a non-event if you don't like dipping bread in stinky, melted cheese - but I digress) and on the wall of the lobby of the restaurant was a portait of Petain.

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Unhappy

Re: Obvious solution.

@Chalky White of The Mirror "a bit of a non-event if you don't like dipping bread in stinky, melted cheese"

This is a gross slur on Swiss cuisine. There is also a dish called Raclette, where you dip boiled potatoes in stinky, melted cheese.

I remember my first Raclette meal. When we finished the first plateful of melted cheese, we asked each other what the next course might be. More melted cheese. And then more.

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Happy

Re: Obvious solution.

Yes, I'd forgotten about Raclette. And now I've lost my appetite.

Goes without saying the scenery is wonderful - but the entertainment is about as dire as the cuisine! Last time I was there I ended up watching Fawlty Towers on the World Service (while eating ready meals from the local supermarket). Even the omelette and chips at the top of the main ski slope was bland - and they weren't too impressed with me curling up laughing when the lady I was with put sugar on hers, but that was the high point of the meal by a mile!

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Big Brother

I think people are missing the point

which has nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with a judicial system starting to assert it's control over the internet.

Once the principle is accepted by the sheeple (bearing in mind how much of the internet we have lost in the name of child pornography, and terrorism) it's a simple administrative task to get whatever the government of the day doesn't like banned.

Hasn't Google already had to nobble autocomplete in China ?

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Re: I think people are missing the point

I worry that it's even worse than the judicial system exerting control on the internet, the statement;

“This decision in principle is a first in France, which shows that search engines should participate in the regulation of the internet,” SNEP chief David El Sayegh said in a canned statement.

says to me that they are encouraging a foreign private company to police the access of information for a whole country and washing their hands of resposibilty for the whole thing. Participate how, and with what oversight? I know Google “Do no evil” but what’s to stop them from blocking searches to other search engines that don’t censor questionable material? I bet that Googles army of high priced lawyers could make the line “Participating in the regulation of the internet by filtering access to unscrupulous search engines” fly (extreme example, I know).

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Facepalm

Re: I think people are missing the point

'I know Google “Do no evil” but what’s to stop them from blocking searches to other search engines that don’t censor questionable material?'

Google manipulating search results in order to give themselves an advantage over their competitors? I can already hear the lawyers in Brussels rubbing their hands together with glee...

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Anonymous Coward

"We Will Keep Working".

"Google takes online copyright very seriously, and we will keep working to abolish it completely."

Well the original quote was obviously garbled. So I fixed it.

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FAIL

Completely Quackers

Torrent Ducks

Torrent Frog

And its going to completely bugger up the career of Marion Torrent

I imagine these people are going to be a bit pissed off, too:-

Torrent Pharmaceuticals

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Anonymous Coward

so... they gonna ban searches using the word download?

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I have a solution for google!

"We have disabled autocomplete for all users in france due to the unreasonable demands of the french government that we censor it. If you desire auto complete back please contact your MP, Thank you."

Although, it could backfire. Finding the google page more responsive, they may call their MPs and thank them.

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