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Yahoo! Liable In Italy For Searchable Content

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the how-does-internet-work dept.

The Courts 145

h3rr d0kt0r writes "A recent decision of an Italian court could spark considerable discussion over the liability of a search engines. The court actually ordered Yahoo! to remove any link to any site containing unlawful copies of a movie. Under EU Directives 2003/31, liability of search engines is not regulated (save for caching activities). In the case brought to court regarding the film About Elly, it was not the caching activities of Yahoo! that were questioned (or any content hosted on Yahoo!'s servers), but the mere fact that searching for the film made it possible to reach websites allowing the streaming or downloading of the movie (actually, illegal sites got a better ranking then the official one)."

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No monetary liability it seems (4, Interesting)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717390)

From the article it seems that Yahoo was not ordered to pay anything; "only" to remove a link. This is important as this means that there is no general threat of damage payments for linking due to this court order.

Re:No monetary liability it seems (3, Interesting)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717400)

Yea, DMCA takedown notices in the US do the same thing.

Re:No monetary liability it seems (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717738)

DMCA can force you to remove a link?!

Re:No monetary liability it seems (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717856)

If you are going to be a pedant, then DMCA can't force you to do anything. But the Italian ruling says that you must remove illegal content, but you aren't liable for that illegal content if you deal with the issue in a timely manner, which is exactly the same as the DMCA. There may be a difference in the definition of "illegal content" but that's immaterial to the legal parallels.

Re:No monetary liability it seems (2)

infolation (840436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718212)

DCMA sect. 512 protects the linker (under safe harbor), until they're aware the link is infringing. At that point the linker has to remove or disable [chillingeffects.org] access to the linked material.

re:yahoo (5, Interesting)

JohnVanVliet (945577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717396)

I am beginning to think that Yahoo and Google
need to take a week off .
go on holiday for 7 days and watch a the world comes to a stop

then see what the court has to say .

Re:yahoo (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717404)

Bing! will come to save the day

Re:yahoo (4, Informative)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717546)

without google, bing's results will just return gibberish.

Re:yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717580)

This comment made my day.

--You'd never know who...

Replace their respective pages with a message (5, Interesting)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717412)

"Dear Customer of Yahoo/Google/Bing,
Recently, it has come to our attention that a group of copyright holders with a lot of sway in your legal system have managed to convince your government to force us to hand-pick every link we index. Unfortunately, this is not a viable solution. As such, we are no longer providing search services to your country. Good luck!

Hope to hear from you again soon if your government changes its mind!

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717478)

Mod parent up.

If the big players in the search business could agree to this instead of going, "Woot, the others have backed out, this market is ours!" they could keep themselves safe.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717600)

Bzzt, wrong. That strategy didn't work in China, and there's no reason it would work in any country with enough resources to spend on homegrown IT.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717634)

I don't live in Italy, but I think the people there have a little more say in what their government does on their behalf.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (3, Interesting)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717772)

Everything gets done by government decree and some tens of thousand laws in excess make justice inapplicable, that's been true for decades here.

That does not mean the current government is just like the old ones. I don't buy the "politicians are stupid/insane" theory but when I read newspapers, at first I think: "Franz Kafka on acid".

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717636)

That rules out Italy. If we even had any money to spend on a homegrown search engine, it would just be eaten up by corrupt officials/organized crime.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717658)

Actually, Italy has a respectable record in search engine research ( linky1 [unipi.it] , linky2 [unimi.it] ).

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

zr-rifle (677585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718486)

Don't forget Hyper Search [wikipedia.org]

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717664)

Of course it didn't work in China because China has Baidu which owns the vast majority of the search market, and with Baidu basically being a government sponsored search engine. It's an independent company but you don't run a business that size in China without doing what the authorities want. Look at Rio Tinto, a massive multinational, but because they didn't play China's game some of their workers were sent to jail, that's really the choice of the matter in China- you do it the government's way, or face arbitrary detention, torture, and possibly even the death penalty.

Fortunately China is a fringe market in this case, few other markets have a home grown search engine that holds the majority of the market and is effectively government controlled, pointing it out as a reason it wouldn't work anywhere else in the world is stupid.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (5, Informative)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717712)

Please note that Baidu is mostly owned and operated by Goldman Sachs, not by the Chinese government. Also the majority of it's board members are US citizens.

There is a government sponsored search engine, but the fact that you don't even know it's name says enough.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717750)

Fortunately China is a fringe market in this case, few other markets have a home grown search engine that holds the majority of the market and is effectively government controlled,

The Russian search engine Yandex is pretty good as well, that's another large part of the world covered.

pointing it out as a reason it wouldn't work anywhere else in the world is stupid.

You misunderstand. Those examples merely show that local search engines can dominate in a local market even when the Googles and Yahoos of the world compete with them directly.

The wider question of what would happen if Google, Yahoo, Bing etc decided to voluntarily leave a national market is obvious. They'd be replaced in short order with a local search engine company who would thank their preferred deity for the free lunch.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719112)

The difference is that in China most of what people are searching for is from China, Baidu rely on this for market share and tailor their searches accordingly... this will not be true in many other counties

If what you are searching for is Movies or Music related then unless it's Bollywood or Hong Kong Cinema then the main sites are likley to be US based ?

There will always be some local content, but often a lot of what you are searching for is USA based ...

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717836)

Then, it would surely work in Italy, trust me!

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717884)

Simply put, this is not the case of Italy.

We have no money to put on homegrown IT development. The only place where to put the taxpayers money are politicians buckets! Where do you live?

We have old people in every key position... how do you think we can emerge if they know nothing about even emails.

Cheers.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717970)

Ha! The UK government has a less-than-impressive record with IT. They've spent billions on IT projects that have collapsed without any usable results. I don't see them having much luck getting something like google up and running. I expect other countries have similar poor records when it comes to costly IT failures.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

infolation (840436) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718256)

Ha! The UK government has a less-than-impressive record with IT. They've spent billions on IT projects that have collapsed without any usable results

Fund the project with Nimrod Subhunter savings?

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719164)

Government not needed - Baidu is not run by the Chinese government (it just plays by it's rules)

Just checked and there are 177+ UK based search engines .... currently kept down by Google.co.uk being better ...

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

xded (1046894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718048)

I hope we won't need to get to that point to see "resources spent on homegrown IT" in Italy.

But I'm not too optimistic.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718898)

However, there aren't many such countries. China is one, India probably another. Italy can't play this game.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717880)

I'd just scrub any links that contain content or link to the copyright owners for all movies by any studio that complains. If they want their stuff cleaned off the Internet, then their wish should be granted.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

nanoflower (1077145) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718900)

LOL. That's probably the best situation. If the owners of "The Hurt Locker" (an example) complained just remove all references to the movie from the search engine. That way the search engine company doesn't have to worry about which references might be illegal(a source of future lawsuits). It also has the side benefit of making the originator of the lawsuit reconsider their approach.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35719148)

LOL. That's probably the best situation. If the owners of "The Hurt Locker" (an example) complained just remove all references to the movie from the search engine. That way the search engine company doesn't have to worry about which references might be illegal(a source of future lawsuits). It also has the side benefit of making the originator of the lawsuit reconsider their approach.

That's effing brilliant. And Google owns Youtube. So long to any of that free publicity involving people looking up movie trailers to learn about a film their friends mentioned.

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718612)

Minor problem - that kind of collusion is illegal in most jurisdictions (US for certain).

Re:Replace their respective pages with a message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35719256)

"Dear Customer of Yahoo/Google/Bing,

Recently, it has come to our attention that a group of copyright holders with a lot of sway in your legal system have managed to convince your government to force us to hand-pick every link we index. Unfortunately, this is not a viable solution. As such, we are no longer providing search services to your country. Good luck!

Hope to hear from you again soon if your government changes its mind!

They are in business to make money, not make political statements, unless of course that political statement makes them money.

Re:yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717720)

That, I'm afraid, is called blackmail. It is a punishable offence in many a country. Especially doing it to a court...

Re:yahoo (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718674)

If the court says anything it is likely to be along the lines of not being held to ransom by corporate pressure.

If you want a law changed, you have to convince the lawmakers - i.e. the politicians.

Berlusconi orders a taxi (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717410)

This is strange, when Berlusconi arrives incognito in Milan and asks a taxi driver to bring him to the whorehouse with the youngest employees, is the taxidriver then responsible for what happens next?

Re:Berlusconi orders a taxi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717424)

Um, yes, the taxidriver is responsible for taking Berlusconi to a dark alley where his friends are waiting to mug him.

Re:Berlusconi orders a taxi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717592)

in such case the taxi driver could probably be found guilty, since in Italy aiding and abetting prostitution is a crime (Berlusconi has actually been charged for prostitution related charges ....). Think of a taxy driver who helps someone to find some drugs. Should the taxy driver go unpunished? I' think no, since knonwingly helping someone to commit a crime is a crime. The point is "knowingly": does a serch engine knows the contents it seachs?

Re:Berlusconi orders a taxi (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717800)

He should go unpunished, because searching for drugs shouldn't be a crime at all.
If offering and taking drugs are a crime (for some non-reason), then the police should be punished for actually allowing drugs to be sold there. And the landlords should be punished for renting out to drug sellers. And the town should be punished for allowing dark alleys to exist where drugs can be sold. And the tire factory should be punished for selling tyres to an outlet which in turn sells to a taxi driver who helps people finding drugs.

Re:Berlusconi orders a taxi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717962)

He only went there to check their work permits. Best done incognito. Familiar with their miserable working conditions he had some flower bouquets with him. The taxi driver reported that the premier was emotionally exhausted when he drove him back.

Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717420)

First it's a terrible search engine, then it's out of touch, now this.

Though at least from it's name, it's upbeat.

Re:Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717428)

To be fair, the pirate sites are the relevant results. Who looks for a movie's "official" website?

Re:Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (1)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717748)

Movies have sites?!

Re:Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717882)

I thought a movie's site was called a "theater."

Re:Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718306)

No, it's called a "torrent".

Re:Poor Yahoo! can't catch a break (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718986)

Wait... You mean imdb.org isn't the official website?

simple solution (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717422)

Yahoo! should ban any italian IP, saying that the cost of doing business in Italy is too great.
the public outcry will overturn the decision immediately.

Re:simple solution (2)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717438)

"Implying" people actually use Yahoo! search

Re:simple solution (1)

pixline (2028580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717452)

You should know about italian government first, then you'd realize that - in fact - they won't give a buck for it. Let alone people, maybe they'll cry for a while but nothing more. Italian government is terrible, but average italian web-consciousness is somewhat worse. (And I'm italian, living in italy: figure out the pleasure..)

Re:simple solution (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717558)

but your tomatoes are SO FUCKING GOOD

Yahoo ban Italian IP? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717788)

Oh, yeah. All ten of the Italian Yahoo users will be protesting in the streets, undertipping and reducing their political contributions. Big impact. HUGE.

Proofreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717454)

Please proofread your article submissions before posting them for thousands of people to see. It's really irritating to see basic mistakes because you are too lazy to do simple proofreading.

Then don't link to movies. Period. (5, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717456)

Just pull up every single title for every single movie, tv-show etc. on IMDB and have your search engine return

"We're terribly sorry, but since you've searched for the title of a movie, and we can't know if a link is legal or not, we have chosen not to be sued by the creators of $title and won't show any results.
If you wish to know more about why you can't find any information about movies online, please call PFA at $phone number for further information.
"

And since your search engine isn't a paid service, it'd be hard to argue in court that it should return results that the copyright holders decide.

Let's see how the fuckers manage to get along and drum up publicity, if their crap can't be found online at all.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (2)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717528)

Mod Parent +10 "Makes to Much Sense"

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717726)

'to', 'too', 'two'

Learn the difference.

It can save your life.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (2)

slickepott (733214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717904)

I think you're being two serious!

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718436)

Et tu, Brute?

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717672)

Then I will make 3 movies called "facebook", "how to remove a virus" and "xxx". After this 90% of all internet seaches will now arive at your error message.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (1)

Buzer (809214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717756)

There is already movie called as XXX ;)

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718284)

I wish someone would make a fucking movie called 'Twitter'

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718416)

A fucking movie called 'Twitter'? Do the characters in it use Twitter while they fuck? Or perhaps they chirp like birds.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717922)

Let's see..... you're saying the search engine should no longer return results for "AI", "Taxi", and "Casablanca"?

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717966)

So: no information about Pi, Australia, Hangovers, Mechanics, etc.? So many common nouns are movie titles it would gut the entire index...

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718082)

This so hard.

Just watching the movie lists and adding them to blacklists would be much easier than searching the millions of links scraped every day. (if not more)

They should do this with music, games, everything.
Let's see how they like the world of the internet without any advertising on their content.
I'd imagine these anti-piracy nutcases will claim it as a success even if they are losing money.
Or worse, start accusing the search engines as being pirates...

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718232)

They'd probably sue them for interfering with customers' ability to find legal copies of their movie.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (1)

bye (87770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718366)

They'd probably sue them for interfering with customers' ability to find legal copies of their movie.

Search engines could point to several past legal battles questioning the legal ownership of various high-profile movies. Every single big studio had such episodes in the past. If search engines are supposed to unindex sources of movies with questionable legality then they have to unindex all big movie studios as well, not just (alleged) pirate sites.

If a movie studio can present a (final) court ruling against a pirate site then search engines have proper legal basis to unindex that site.

Re:Then don't link to movies. Period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35719226)

Just pull up every single title for every single movie, tv-show etc. on IMDB and have your search engine return

"We're terribly sorry, but since you've searched for the title of a movie, and we can't know if a link is legal or not, we have chosen not to be sued by the creators of $title and won't show any results.
If you wish to know more about why you can't find any information about movies online, please call PFA at $phone number for further information.
"

If they do that to every movie, it means users would just adapt and search via other means. They could just go directly to IMDB.

On the other hand, if they do it only to the movies that sue them ("About Elly" in this case), they can let movie studios shoot themselves in the foot. They'll still retain movie-related traffic, so the delisting of specific movies would have real, long-term impact on the movies' popularity.

as an italian (0)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717480)

Our politics has been busy fixing Berlusconi's troubles with justice for more than one decade. main The strategy is to make our judicial system a joke. What would you expect from that?

Not that I am not sad for my country, but it is only expected that our fucked up system will backfire at some point.

Re:as an italian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717612)

Yes, everybody in Italy knows that the judiciary is in mr Berlusconi's pockets.
What a dork you are.

Re:as an italian (0)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717704)

Do you deny that most laws and decrees enacted in the past ten years have the objective of rendering the judicial system ineffective? That no reform whatsoever was made to adapt the law to new technologies? That the courts are understaffed because the government does not want them to work properly? I think all of those are true, so I am not really surprised to see that there are problems in our justice system. May you never wake up from your happy dream.

As an American (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717794)

We're all in the same boat, friend.

Let me be the first to say: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717508)

Yahoo! Take that!
Hope both you and media-fascist italy burn in
Hello operator!
Please give me number nine.

Could be bad news (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717510)

If this goes through, and even worse goes international, what a mess this will cause. Staff needing to peruse all new links? Massive revamping of crawler routines? Gah.

Re:Could be bad news (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717610)

Nah; as someone else noted in these here comments, it's probably going to be more like an Italian DMCA. Nothing to worry about—other than the complete kookoo bizarreness that is the Italian media.

Also, Benito Mussolini. What's the deal with that guy? Man. What a guy.

then does not equal than (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717516)

"(actually, illegal sites got a better ranking then the official one)"

then the offical one... what?
Oh, you mean "than"... I see what you are trying to say, but it took extra effort because I went to school - silly me!.

Re:then does not equal than (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717560)

First the illegal sites "then" the official ones.

Doesn't it go deeper than that? (2)

masterpiga (1590499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717532)

I agree with the fact that, in these cases, search engines could just stop providing some service in that specific Country. In countries with a democracy, such as Italy (well, ok, more or less...), hopefully the people will uprise and have their representatives to something about it.

Still, the problem is more general than that, and I would like to raise the point just for the sake of discussion. Consider pedo-pornography, which is a crime in Italy as it is in many other countries as far as I know. In that case, we all agree that search engine should do their best to avoid promoting links with pedo-pornographic material, since we all agree that it is a bad thing and we don't want them to be facilitators of the crime. But downloading copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright holder is a crime too, so isn't it reasonable that search engines should behave similarly, and do whatever they can to avoid helping those who are trying to break the law?

I think that, in the end, it is all a matter of subjective perception of the involved crime. Since many of us don't see downloading copyrighted material as a crime, we expect things to be handled differently in that case. But from the point of view of law enforcement, publishing a link to a movie for illegal download is no different than pointing users to readily available pedo-pornographic material, as in both cases the search engine is an accomplice in unlawful act.

Isn't this something that we should consider, or we accept that, as far as information retrieval is involved, we want the "law of the demand" to be the strongest, and we accept that our search engines retrieve anything that we ask for? In this case, I think that we need some laws to shift the responsibility of searching and retrieving on the end user, and only consider the search engine as a medium with no responsibility whatsoever.

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717570)

No I don't expect $search_provider to censor their database even if we are talking child porn. It's not a crime to interlink the web dumbass...

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (3, Insightful)

masterpiga (1590499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717628)

I agree on that - and if you had read my post until the end maybe you would have understood it too.

But still, if according to a law facilitating illegal behaviors is unlawful (as is the case in Italy, but I guess many other countries have similar articles in their body of laws), then they are breaking the law. And the idea that is okay to break the law as far as I don't mind it, seems a little bit idiotic to me, no less than having a judge deciding what a search engine can or can't index.

So, unless we claim that they are above the law, which I wouldn't recommend as a strategy, maybe it would be advisable to have laws that make $you responsible for what you search, as opposed to $search_providers responsible for what they provide, index or cache.

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718200)

Still, the problem is more general than that, and I would like to raise the point just for the sake of discussion. Consider pedo-pornography, which is a crime in Italy as it is in many other countries as far as I know. In that case, we all agree that search engine should do their best to avoid promoting links with pedo-pornographic material, since we all agree that it is a bad thing and we don't want them to be facilitators of the crime. But downloading copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright holder is a crime too, so isn't it reasonable that search engines should behave similarly, and do whatever they can to avoid helping those who are trying to break the law?

The major difference here is that if a search engine provides links to pedo-pornography then law enforcement officials advise them of the problem and they act accordingly. If a search engine provides links to copyrighted material then they might be contacted by somebody claiming to be the copyright holder or they might simply be sued as an "accomplice". Without even adressing the cases where copyright holders attack fair use or falsify claims of ownership, you can see that the pattern of treatment is completely different.

If copyright infringement is truely a concern of the justice system then they need to devote personel and money to the cause. Law enforcement needs to stop relying on organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA to investigate and prosecute for them, and instead need to launch their own investigations.
To do otherwise is to allow vigilantes to run unchecked.

Isn't this something that we should consider, or we accept that, as far as information retrieval is involved, we want the "law of the demand" to be the strongest, and we accept that our search engines retrieve anything that we ask for? In this case, I think that we need some laws to shift the responsibility of searching and retrieving on the end user, and only consider the search engine as a medium with no responsibility whatsoever.

There already are laws that make $you responsible for what you search, they're called the law! If I go out and fetch copyrighted material then I'm already accountable for having done it.

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718490)

...should do their best to avoid promoting links with pedo-pornographic material...

What's so bad about a foot fetish?

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (2)

mikechant (729173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719078)

Your comment is based on the misconception that unauthorized downloading of copyright material *is* a crime. In most cases and most jurisdictions, it is a civil wrong, not a crime, and law enforcement has no role in investigating or prosecuting civil matters (the concept of prosecution does not even exist for civil matters).

e.g. this
But from the point of view of law enforcement, publishing a link to a movie for illegal download is no different than pointing users to readily available pedo-pornographic material, as in both cases the search engine is an accomplice in unlawful act.
is completely wrong, because of the civil/criminal distinction.
In the unauthorized download case it is entirely up to the copyright holder to decide if they wish to pursue the matter and bring a civil suit if necessary; in many cases they even choose to make their material available freely (e.g. via youtube) and so it's not actually possible for a linker to determine what is and is not authorized. In the other case the material is (generally) definitively illegal and it is the job of law enforcement to investigate etc.

Re:Doesn't it go deeper than that? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719362)

No, the problem with this situation is that search providers do not have an easy way to tell if a site is legitimate or not. By your logic (and that of the court) selling VCRs (and other similar devices) should be illegal because they "facilitate" making illegal copies of movies and tv shows. There are many other examples of things that we take for granted that can be used in a crime that this ruling could be applied to.
I would agree that the search engine should have, at most, very limited liability for the results of its searches. I cannot at the moment think of anything that the search provider should have liability for providing as the result of a search, but I would not be surprised if someone could come up with a scenario where I would agree with holding the search provider liable.

Busy times ahead... (2)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717548)

Search engines are now required to remove links to any and all illegal items, ideas or concepts. No bomb recipes. No lock picking manuals. No gay-support (homosexuality is illegal in dozens of countries), no free speech (outlawed in many countries)... Oh wait, it's only items owned by Big Corporations (tm) that gets this treatment. All other illegalities are still welcome on the search engines... Go figure.

Re:Busy times ahead... (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717724)

This is the thing many people, especially Americans, refuse to see. The only reason their government is relatively relaxed on speech etc, is because the real legislators and enforcers are corporations. They are the true overlords and even the Chinese government doesn't come near their level of oppression of the general populous.

Correct directive is 2000/31 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717622)

Summary wrong, the directive in question is 2000/31, not 2003/31, the latter deals with controlled chemicals.

Spellcheck (1, Informative)

pasv (755179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717718)

If you can read English then please replace then with than in the last sentence. Ok thanks bye

Re:Spellcheck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717888)

Mr Pedant of the Computerized Spellchecker, should go forth and read some of the classic works of William Shakespeare and then try to correct his use of then and than and then report back here please.

PS, what language is 'OK', 'thanks' and 'bye'?

Re:Spellcheck (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718706)

Ok [cambridge.org] , thanks [cambridge.org] and bye [cambridge.org] are all British English.

Also, Shakespeare had trouble spelling his own name and so while arguably a literary genius should perhaps not be held up as an example of a linguistic one.

Hope that helps.

Re:Spellcheck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718722)

If you can read English then please replace then with than in the last sentence. Ok thanks bye

Is this the most useful thing you can contribute to the discussion? If so, please just go away. You're taking up valuable bits in the database.

No way to defend yourself? (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717816)

So, how would this work? If I own the copyright to a movie and I know that site X is distributing an illegal copy, then I go tell yahoo to remove the link? Sounds reasonable, except for the implication that since they can't legally fight the site itself, they go to the Search engine instead, which means that the site owner never gets a chance to defend himself.

Man, it sucks to be an ISP or Search Engine these days.

Finally, a step in the right direction. (1)

Khenke (710763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35717850)

I have been waiting for a bit "normal" search site to get sued (okej, they haven't here but almost the same) so that we can see how absurd that torrent search sites get sued.

Yes, there are a bit that differ from Isohunt/Piratebay and Google/Yahoo/Bing but not much. In Google I can search for torrent files and find the same pirated content.
But the main difference is that the big search sites have money for good lawyers while torrent sites don't.

Oh, and Google actually host "pirated" media (books, pictures and so on) while none of the torrent sites does.

So for me it is as it always have been. Large corporations can do what the fuck they want while ordinary people can't do even close to the same thing.

Anonimity is Ours! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717860)

If you don't want the search engines indexing your life, just link to something infringing!!!

People dont learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717872)

surely the lessons should have been learnt after the events of recent months. granted the control of the internet has not been a main factor but it is still part. if you start controling what resources are available to people your as good as digitally shackling them.

Internet freedom and freedom of expression are key elements of modern society. controlling what we see on the internet is like filtering the world, gaddaffi has tried to do it to his people using the the media. where does it stop?

Than not then, ffs! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35717974)

It's not hard to use the correct word.

It's Italy (1)

xerces8 (1436217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35718220)

This from the country where the president (Prime Minister to be exact) engages in sex with underage prostitute(s).
No surprise.

Re:It's Italy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718568)

This from the country where the president (Prime Minister to be exact) engages in sex with underage prostitute(s).
No surprise.

That's hardly a fair characterization... she will be 24 in 8 years!

yahoo basic search function reliable, news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718672)

somebody's got to pay to stop that

cnn gets the twit of the day/can't stop the spirit nod, again;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDVt_hSo_EU&feature=player_embedded

spies like us? cool?

The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35718848)

The real question is "How does Yahoo know which links to delete?". The answer is "Those which haven't proven a legal right". Meaning, the onus should be upon the distributor to prove his site is legal. Yahoo should demand a signed statement from the producer of the movie and a large (per movie) administration fee before indexing a distributor's web site.

Simple solution (0)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35719300)

If Italy really pushes hard on this, I hope all the major search engines decide to block requests from IP blocks assigned to Italy. That would likely take less time than trying to figure out which links are legitimate and which aren't.

After Italy's government ministers and other officials find that they can't search for their [preferred vice or hobby] any longer, they might be forced to contend with the stupid rules that result from this decision.
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