Google Cache Not Breaching Copyright, Judge Rules

2 comments

silicon.com - Google prevails in copyright suit.

In a legal win for Google, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a writer who claimed the search giant infringed on his copyright by archiving a Usenet posting of his and providing excerpts from his website in search results.

Though the writer would not really appear to grasp that this is about cacheing, the author of the original content does:

In his 2004 lawsuit against Google, Parker alleged that the search giant violated copyright law by automatically archiving a copy of his posting on Usenet and by providing excerpts from his website in search results.

Parker said he will appeal the decision. "The court is confused about what cache means," he said in a telephone interview. "Google really is a third-party republication."

Comments

Bizarre

Not sure how anyone can sue about anyone showing your USENET postings, that's nutty, as by definition you're posting on a public messaging network which anyone can download and display otherwise USENET is USELESS, and Google has just as much right to be a part that public messaging network as anyone else.

The website snippets on their own is a silly argument as well as just snippets are obviously considered fair use. However, where this guy could've took a shot at snippets is the commercialization aspect per Nolo's website on fair use:

Violations often occur when the use is motivated primarily by a desire for commercial gain. The fact that a work is published primarily for private commercial gain weighs against a finding of fair use.

Once Google started putting ads all over their search pages and put competitors ads next to your snippets, this changed everything IMO and they are in violation.

Rule 2: Are Your Competing With the Source You're Copying From?

Without consent, you ordinarily cannot use another person's protected expression in a way that impairs (or even potentially impairs) the market for his or her work. Thus, if you want to use an author's protected expression in a work of your own that is similar to the prior work and aimed at the same market, your intended use isn't likely a fair use.

This also applies to scraper sites that steal your content claiming "fair use" and then display AdSense to compete with you for the same AdSense $$$ so they can all sit and spin on their fair use statement as far as I'm concerned but nobody is making the right case IMO when they take this to count.

Also, displaying the full copy of the site CACHE of the web site is another issue IMO which Google seems to sidestep as it's one page at a time only and they don't monetize the cache pages.

Not sure that passes the sniff test but CACHE display should legally be OPT-OUT by default and I'm stunned that it's not as it's way more than a fair use snippet.

The second problem with cache is Google has no protection in place to stop others from wholesale scraping your site via Google cache and bypassing your security (robots.txt, .htaccessm etc.) files that might try to block the same crawlers, so in this case I see Google permitting secondary security breaches just by displaying Google's full content cache in the first place.

Nice Post!

Don't you hate people who say "Nice Post" and offer nothing to add to the current conversation? I will have to try hard not to do this today, there is some interesting posts (and comments) on TW this week.

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