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Google's Cache Ruled Fair Use

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the covering-up-not-that-easy dept.

Google 213

jbarr writes "An EFF Article states that: 'A district court in Nevada has ruled that the Google Cache is a fair use ... the Google Cache feature does not violate copyright law.' Notable is the basis that 'The Google Cache qualifies for the DMCA's 512(b) caching 'safe harbor' for online service providers.'" From the article: "The district court found that Mr. Field 'attempted to manufacture a claim for copyright infringement against Google in hopes of making money from Google's standard [caching] practice.' Google responded that its Google Cache feature, which allows Google users to link to an archival copy of websites indexed by Google, does not violate copyright law."

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A new search engine is in order (4, Interesting)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571981)

So if someone created a search engine which automatically, randomly and non-volitionally searches and caches MP3 files from websites which do not have "no archive" metatag, it's not breaking the law?

When those searched websites disappeared, this search engine may still serve those cached MP3 files for archival purposes?

Re:A new search engine is in order (4, Interesting)

Ninwa (583633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572007)

Maybe... but there's a difference. That difference is that the items cached were already in violation of copy right law, most likely. Interesting though... and doesn't archive.org archive files? I know they've archived several small programs I've written that were linked on my site at one point in time.

"fair use"? What's dat?! (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572131)

I thought we sold "fair use" a while ago for three magic beans and some DVDs.

Re:"fair use"? What's dat?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572705)

> I thought we sold "fair use" a while ago for three magic beans and some DVDs.

The problem with these 'Jack and the Beanstalk' allusions is that, in the story, the beans actually worked!

Re:A new search engine is in order (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572742)

I'm sure plenty of the material in the Google cache is there in breach of copyright law as well but they aren't being held accounatable for that so why should they be for mp3s? I think this might be a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other.

Re:A new search engine is in order (5, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572125)

Yes, if the owner of the website is also the owner of the copyright in the mp3 files.

So if a band is making their mp3s available for free download, then Google can cache them.
But if you are making Metallica's mp3s available online, and Google caches them, then Lars Ullrich will sue you for a lot of money, and Google will probably remove the content when he asks them to.

Re:A new search engine is in order (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572566)

picked this up on another forum today. Search google.com for "kazaa lite". Scroll down to the bottom. There should be a note that one or two results were removed due to a request based on the DMCA. It may not work outside the US.

There's certainly precedent for Google removing something from its search results and/or cache.

Re:A new search engine is in order (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572783)

And that's key to the issue.
If you are the copyright holder and request removal they are obligated to comply. So long as they do this then any content that is copyright but for which removal has not been requested they can cache.
If you don't want them to archive it then tell them that in the meta tag or robots.txt file and they will comply automatically.
-nB

Re:A new search engine is in order (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572849)

Google's "cooperation" was purely a mean joke on the liars, er, lawyers. They basically rubbed the shitbag^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hattorneys' noses in poo by linking to the complaint at the bottom, which included all of the URLs which were being contested - and the shitbag lawyers had no recourse. :)

It'd be akin to complaining about references to pornography being available to all at the library of congress because copyrights have been filed on pornographic photos, stories, articles, films, etc. - "OMFG the US Gubbment is making Porn available to children! Call Dubya! Think of the children!"

Re:A new search engine is in order (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572960)

You are a total goddamn dumbass. Read the complaint that was sent to google! The results were not removed because Kazaa can be used to obtain copyrighted files. The complaint was sent on behalf of Kazaa, because the websites returned hosted unauthorized copies of the Kazaa software.

Re:A new search engine is in order (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573025)

I wonder why the results were removed, as opposed to the cached copies of the websites. As far as I knew, the DMCA could only be used to force a host to remove infringing content from their website. A link is not infringing content as far as I know, unless they are arguing that those links/titles used Kazaa's trademark; but that's not what the letter says.

Does the DMCA really require the removal of links pointing to infringing content?

Archive.org (3, Insightful)

wbechard (830613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571990)

Google wasn't really copying as much as they were archiving the past... Look at Archive.org's way back machine. Same principal.

Re:Archive.org (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572132)

Yep. If they didn't want it on google, they should have said so in their robots.txt file

Re:Archive.org (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572253)

Not only robots.txt, but I've encountered sites that if you were to attempt to read the Google Cache with Javascript enabled, it would redirect you to their live site. Usually this happens in the form of frameset redirection scripts, but there were cases where it would redirect you to the site's front page. In those latter cases, it often means that all external links to any page on those sites would redirect to the front page (anti-deep-linking).

not anymore than any browser (2, Insightful)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571994)

Most browers have a built in cache. They don't violate copyright law
do they?

Re:not anymore than any browser (5, Insightful)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572270)

Browsers don't make their caches publicly availible. You're comparing apples and oranges.

Re:not anymore than any browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572743)

How about Squid caches, then?

Re:not anymore than any browser (1)

Ectospheno (724239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573033)

You're comparing apples and oranges.

So... [darwinmag.com]

Re:not anymore than any browser (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572301)

You tell me.

Heres the Google cache [216.239.51.104] for one of your own pages.
Thousands of people can view the copyrighted content of your pages - even after you remove it from the web.

Re:not anymore than any browser (1)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572581)

However, adding a quick robots.txt to your webpage root can fix this cache problem right up. Heck, you can just add meta tags as well if you want. I used to do that with my web pages and guess what, google obeyed the request not to cache.

Re:not anymore than any browser (2, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572673)

True, but there is a subtle difference between the Google cache and your local cache - Google are making money from displaying other peoples work. Ok maybe it's not 100% direct, they don't have adverts on the cached page (yet) but it is an additional service they are providing that draws people. More people == more money ergo you can conclude that they are profiting by displaying our work.

To perhaps make it clearer: Many of the articles I write are one page long and my time is funded by the adverts on my site. The cached google page shows the whole of an article but far fewer adverts than the real page therefore I am losing out on revenue because of Googles cache. I think it is difficult to argue that Googles use is fair as they are displaying the whole article. Fair use was supposed to protect people that wanted a snippet or two for review purposes and that sort of thing.

Imagine if you reprinted a chapter of a book or the leading article of a newspaper. You would be sued before you knew what was happening and yet Google seem to get away with copying and republishing whole websites.

Re:not anymore than any browser (1)

KeatonMill (566621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573161)

However, consider the instances when people USE the cache: when the original site is no longer available.

Good news (3, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571996)

This is good news for the Wayback Machine at archive.org. I think the case against google images, and especially google video is a little stronger, however.

Re:Good news (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572033)

I was going to say the same thing. Then I read the last sentence of TFA: "The decision is replete with interesting findings that could have important consequences for the search engine industry, the Internet Archive, the Google Library Project lawsuit, RSS republishing, and a host of other online activities." It should be interesting to see how far 512(b) goes.

Re:Good news (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572101)

I don't think Google Video caches videos from the WWW. I think it just allows copyright holders to upload their own videos to Google Video.

Google Images is just a version of the normal Google SE that only brings up images. It doesn't do any more caching than Google does anyway (when caching both text and images), not that whether the content is stored as an image or text is relevant.

Re:Good news (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572355)

Google Images is just a version of the normal Google SE that only brings up images. It doesn't do any more caching than Google does anyway (when caching both text and images), not that whether the content is stored as an image or text is relevant.

But Google Images serves up pictures without the advertisements that support the content creators. This the same argument as PVRs and skipping commercials. Of course, an argument can be made for using a robots.txt file, but it could be argued that this shouldn't be the creators responsibility to implement.

Re:Good news (2, Informative)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572794)

HTTP explicitly allows for caches - its part of the protocol. Associated standards have been published to restrict what can be cached, and indexed by e.g. search engines.

You can no more complain that something is caching, or indexing, your pages you have published with HTTP, then you can complain that someone is accessing them at all.

Re:Good news (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573192)

You can no more complain that something is caching, or indexing, your pages you have published with HTTP, then you can complain that someone is accessing them at all.

I can complain about whatever I want, but that's not the point. Google Image Search is different than mere caching. It's like giving away taped television episodes but replacing the commercials with your own ads. I, personally, don't think Google's Image Search should be illegal, but that doesn't mean the issue is as clear-cut as you make it out to be.

Re:Good news (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572359)

Google Video allows anyone to upload, not just the copyright holder. Pretty sure Topgear didnt upload this gem [google.com] .

Very specific case, though (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573148)

This is good news for the Wayback Machine at archive.org.

I'm not sure about that. Although the result of this case seems fair and clearly indicated on several counts, there's a lot that might not apply to archives more generally, so I'm not sure how much of a precedent has been set.

In particular, the case was brought by someone who practically admitted trying to set Google up: he knew about mechanisms like META tags and robots.txt, knew that Google was caching his site, made no attempt to stop them, and indeed actually set up robots.txt explicitly to allow bots to crawl his site. This supports Google's first two defences here, having an implied licence and estoppel.

The most interesting discussion, IMHO, is on the fair use defence. The court considered in a lot of detail whether the use made by Google qualifies as fair use. On the first criteria (how the material is being used), it was found significant that the material was being used for different purposes in the cache than on the original site: the latter was presumed artistic, while the former allowed access to the material when the original site was down, historical comparisons of the site content, highlighting of search terms that made a page relevant to the user's search, etc. Hence the court concludes as follows:

Because Google serves different and socially important purposes in offering access to copyrighted works through "Cached" links and does not merely supersede the objectives of the original creations, the Court concludes that Google's alleged copying and distribution of Field's Web pages containing copyrighted works was transformative.

The court also noted that Google made no attempt to profit from the display of the material, did not attach advertisements, made clear that the copy could be out of date, and linked clearly to the original source. (I wonder whether that non-profit, no-ads observation will come back to kick Google later...)

The other fair use discussion is less interesting, although the fact that the plaintiff had made his works available for free and not made any other attempt to profit from them was important, because this meant the market value of the original hadn't been damaged. One interesting tidbit is that apparently the SCOTUS has ruled that the fourth fair use factor (any damage to the market/value of the original work) can't be used to argue that the copyright holder could have licensed an otherwise fair use (such as the caching here) and thus the use can't be fair.

Some of the DMCA defence stuff could have quite significant implications. In particular, the fact that Google caches material only for a fairly short time (14-20 days is mentioned) is relevant, since a prior ruling about Usenet servers could be used.

In summary, Google would basically have won out on four different defences here, even without the fact that the original use might not qualify as direct copyright infringement (since the plaintiff went after the downloading done automatically in response to users; he didn't go after GoogleBot's initial copying process that caches the site on Google's system). It doesn't seem at all clear that a lot of the arguments would apply to other caching services, though: amongst other things, Google's cache in this case is temporary; known to the plaintiff, who had not tried to stop it and actually encouraged it; not for direct profit nor carrying any advertising; and clearly not damaging the market value of the original works.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571997)

This should apply to archive.org as well, right?

As far as I'm aware archive.org hadn't had a specific test case yet.

Re:Awesome (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572074)

Archive.org is safer than Google's cache, since it doesn't get as up-to-date stuff. Google's cache is at most like a week or two out of date, right? And it's cache of major sites is updated like hourly or better. It is possible to see the full functionality of slowly updating sites on Google cache, allowing me to get all their content without visiting the site.

Lucky for /. Readers! (2, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572001)

Google's cache is often times the only way to read an article posted on here. Also, its a good resource for people behind firewalls and can only pull up a cached version. It's a good win for Google.

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Good judgement (3, Insightful)

karolgajewski (515082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572009)

Finally, a frivolous lawsuit that got its just desserts. We can only hope that will herald a new age, where the insanely stupid lawsuits are going to fianlly the death they so rightly deserve.

Re:Good judgement (1)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572214)

"We can only hope that will herald a new age, where the insanely stupid lawsuits are going to fianlly the death they so rightly deserve."

You must be new to this country...

Bad Ruling (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572573)

"Finally, a frivolous lawsuit that got its just desserts. We can only hope that will herald a new age, where the insanely stupid lawsuits are going to fianlly the death they so rightly deserve."

They could have said he was right, but then not awarded any monetary damages. This sets a bad precedent. Copyright used to be automatic. Now, if I don't put the right tag in my html, I forfeit copyright to search engines.

Re:Bad Ruling (1)

LaCosaNostradamus (630659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572950)

Now, if I don't put the right tag in my html, I forfeit copyright to search engines.

How so? The search engine just invokes delay in the exposure of the data you already exposed publicly. It's an information-distribution detail for something you've already distributed without qualification. What's been forfeited? You can't control the other delays or other modifications involved in distribution, either. For example, people record all kinds of broadcast media for review at a later time that's convenient to them. User-controlled delays are well established ... they ARE THE PRECEDENT.

I think that it's reasonable to assume that anyone using the web for a public page knows that said page can be reached from a search engine like Google or Yahoo. After all, these engines are essential for making the web useful. Decrying a natural extension (like caching) of their utility is foolish on many levels. The court made the right choice.

The judge then got down from his bench (5, Funny)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572011)

The judge then left the bench, walked over, and whacked the plaintiff and his council on the head with a salami.

salami? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572190)

You misspelled "large trout."

cache everything (2, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572013)

avoid a lawsuit

Re:cache everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572363)

avoid a lawsuit

If you can't avoid a lawsuit you could always make a cache settlement out of court.

Oh well (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572018)

Mr. Field will just have to find another way of making a fortune. "Jackpot Justice" didn't pay off this time.

obvious joke (3, Funny)

grungebox (578982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572024)

So who has a link to the Google cache of the article?

Re:obvious joke (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572315)

So who has a link to the Google cache of the article?

I'm trying to look it up on goolge.cn, but all I'm getting are pages about the virtues of some sort of party.

RIAA (1)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572037)

That Mr. Field should start working for the RIAA.

I don't like this ruling. (4, Interesting)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572081)

Intellectually, I don't like this ruling one bit. "Fair Use" is broadly supposed to have minimal to nil financial effects on the copyrightholder and in general the "fair user" is doing the using for personal reasons. Google's cache is basically a large-scale financial transfer from the copyrightholders (who serve to benefit from the ads they serve and other interaction they get from end-users visitng their site) to google, who benefits directly by keeping people longer on google's site and thus, basically, shucks them more ads. Rememeber folks, in terms of the cache here, we're referring to google's ability to serve content IN ITS ENTIRETY to end-users - we're not talking about those tiny snippets needed to make search engine results useful.

Those of you who do the "yesbutNOCACHEtag" dance have got it backwards to: it's not the responsibility of the copyrightholder to sing to the tune of whatever the latest fad is. Rather, it's the other way around - google should convince people that it's in their interest to put a "CACHEME!" tag.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (2, Insightful)

Routerhead (944388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572197)

It seems a stretch to argue that Google is providing this service for financial gain. For starters, when a user pulls up a Google cached page, they don't get Google's ads on that page. They get, as you noted, the actual site as it was when Google cached it, complete with that site's ads, if there are any.

In addition, the cached version is never anything more than a poor substitute for the actual site. Text comes through, but much of the site's look and feel is lost. If Google wanted to hijack this site, as you seem to suggest, they'd want to incorporate the subordinate links and images as well.

Finally, given that users tend to resort to the cached version only when the actual site itself is down, it is hard to argue that the site itself is taking a financial hit. The user can't get there in the first place.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1, Interesting)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572372)

It seems a stretch to argue that Google is providing this service for financial gain. For starters, when a user pulls up a Google cached page, they don't get Google's ads on that page.

Nonsense. Google gains by drawing attention to itself and its other offerings. Let me ask you this simple question: if google doesn't gain financially, even if indirectly, why do they do it? Goodwill? Poppycock.

They get, as you noted, the actual site as it was when Google cached it, complete with that site's ads, if there are any.

Not really. For, as you mentioned in your next statement, the cached site loses its visual look and feel, including often graphics which can be ads. At the very least, it could be seen as damaging the site.

But, forget that - the real issue is control. You are basically saying that GOOGLE has the right to display YOUR content as GOOGLE sees fit. Regardless of whether you think google's cacheing of entire web pages is good, bad, or indifferent for web sites on the whole, the decision of whether to allow this should be only with the web sites and the DEFAULT situation, therefore, should be "NO." OF COURSE multi-billion dollar companies like yahoo have the necessary soapbox and budget to convince people to put "CACHEME=YES" tags.

I remind you, for example, that no-cache tags are followed only as a courtesy. According to this ruling, there is no particular reason (as I understand it) that a search engine or anybody else would need to honor this ("oh - we don't understand that particular nocache tag - for us not to cache you, you need to use the NoCacheXYZ tag").

Finally, your argument about "the site being down" holds no water. Often, the site is down BECAUSE THE MAINTAINER WANTS TO BRING IT DOWN. This should be the site owner's right. In the google cache situation, the owner effectively loses that right. Again, if you think that having a cache of your site for when your site is unavailable is wonderful, then agree with google to have a CACHEME=YES tag. It's a win-win and mutually agreed upon contract at that point.

In other news, explain to me again why if this is fair use, why i can't make photocopies of every book in the bookstore (for example, without photos) and offer them for free reading in my coffeeshop? remember, we're not talking about one or two books for the interested reader - we're talking about a basically free borders or barnes and noble. you'd be free to read the entire book at your leisure - for books consisting mostly of text, you'd be basically getting the whole thing free. and, if you buy some coffee, that's great too. look - i know real world analogies to the internet don't often make sense, but in this case i think my giant coffee shop isnt too far off.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (3, Interesting)

Routerhead (944388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572627)

The moment one decides to put something on the Internet, he loses a large chunk of control over that content. Caching is an inherent, and necessary, component of Internet technology. Searching as a whole does not work without it.

Your original post was that the original site owner was entitled to relief because of lost financial gain (due to users viewing Google's ads rather than his own). You now present a new argument: content control. However, posting any content on the Internet is entails a conscious surrender of control, and in the bargain that control is surrendered for convenience: distribution, access, attention, what have you.

As to your coffee shop analogy, there is a significant difference. Google is not making any money from its action. No Google ads appear on the cached sites, unless they were there already. In your coffee shop, you are selling coffee to those photocopy readers. Google is not, as you condeded above. For a copyright violation to take place, the violator has to be receiving a material gain. It is not at all clear that Google is receiving any financial gain.

As for metatagging, no standard exists. You are arguing for a standard (be it an opt-in or opt-out). I agree that a standard should exist. However, in the specific case of Google, Google is clear in describing the steps that a site administrator can take to exclude its content from Google's cache.

I'm not trying to suggest that this is a one-way street and that no copyright protection exists for Internet content, but, particularly in this case, it's hard to see that Google was stealing his site or its contents.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572703)

The moment one decides to put something on the Internet, he loses a large chunk of control over that content.

Show me the special clause in copyright law where this says this. If you want, restrict your talk to the USA, since google is a US company. Basically, this is wishful thinking on your part.

Caching is an inherent, and necessary, component of Internet technology.

If you're talking about the sort of 'hardware' caching necessary for speed gains, then yes. If you're talking about google cacheing, then you're talking rubbish. The internet worked just fine before google started making 100% copies of internet pages. if google removed its 'cached' links from search results, the internet would not fall apart.

Searching as a whole does not work without it.

You are confusing the issue. Google CAN keep an INTERNAL copy of web pages and then show little fair-use snippets when displaying search results. The issue here is where google makes COMPLETE 100% COPIES FULLY AVAILABLE. This is absolutely not required for searching in any imaginable way. It just happens to be a an easy thing for google to make a few extra bucks on as a byproduct of its existing, useful, and legal search features.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

Routerhead (944388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572808)

It does not make complete 100% copies available, as we discussed. Much from the site is missing, particularly aspects of its look and feel. The only thing that Google makes available is the part it uses for searching, namely the text.

Also, can you explain "hardware" caching? Software caches, not hardware. Software stores its cache using hardware.

More on point, however, is that your tacit endorsement of what you term "hardware" caching undermines your argument. Google caches but does not gain financially. An ISP caches and gains financially by more efficiently controlling its bandwidth. Is not the ISP far more vulnerable to this charge than is Google?

Re:I don't like this ruling. (2, Interesting)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572925)

Sorry. I'm on your side to some degree in this argument, but your claim that google isn't gaining financially isn't true.

Google offers its cache as part of its search engine service. The service itself makes money, and is popular for its entire featureset. Just because a specific feature does not itself generate revenue doesn't mean that it doesn't indirectly contribute to financial gain.

A bathroom in a coffee shop is a really nice feature that doesn't itself generate a single dime.

Anyhow, you don't have to be making money from copyright material to be infringing on a copyright, so this whole part of the argument is kind of pointless.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573153)

The moment one decides to put something on the Internet, he loses a large chunk of control over that content.

Only if you ignore copyright.

Caching is an inherent, and necessary, component of Internet technology.

No, it's a side-feature. Note, storing an image and the rendered website in memory at the same time (and displaying part of it on screen) is fundamentally no different than arranging a collection of mirrors to collage a few pictures. That's rather different than someone photocopying said images and passing them out.

Searching as a whole does not work without it.

Wrong, searching can work by storing a count of certain words/phrases, or it can work by keeping a count of the number of websites with a word that link to a website. But nothing about knowing there's 5 "the"s and 10 "I"s means being able to trivially reconstruct a website.

Your original post was that the original site owner was entitled to relief because of lost financial gain (due to users viewing Google's ads rather than his own).

Sure. Or a loss of revenue because people can't see your nifty design. Or your nifty server-side page generation.

You now present a new argument: content control. However, posting any content on the Internet is entails a conscious surrender of control, and in the bargain that control is surrendered for convenience: distribution, access, attention, what have you.

Ah, I didn't realize that they were different. In server-side generation, financial benefit and content control can be the same thing. Think of, for example, a website that updated with new images. But now you're further claiming that the internet absolves all copyright. It's rather stupid to claim that, given that a signficiant percentage of people (and especially, google) fall under treaties that protect copyright.

As to your coffee shop analogy, there is a significant difference. Google is not making any money from its action.

And I'm not making any money when I give all my friends photocopies of books from the library.

No Google ads appear on the cached sites, unless they were there already. In your coffee shop, you are selling coffee to those photocopy readers. Google is not, as you condeded above.

The better analogy is the coffeshop allowing vs not allowing free access to the photocopy readers. If they don't have to buy coffee (or view those nice ads just beyond the photocopier room), then surely they're not gaining.

For a copyright violation to take place, the violator has to be receiving a material gain.

Re-read the law again. The NET Act in the US makes it so that "personal gain" can be a basis for prosecution. This basically translates into a way to fix the loophole of the coffee-selling analogy. You can't commit copyright infringement and then merrily claim that you didn't directly benefit so you're in the clear. Btw, the NET Act is about criminal prosecution.

It is not at all clear that Google is receiving any financial gain.

Yea, not at all clear. Google just puts up the cache thing even though they've not even the smallest inkling that it's drawing in more users to their regular, ad-supported, site. Nope, Google is a charity.

As for metatagging, no standard exists. You are arguing for a standard (be it an opt-in or opt-out).

No, he/she was arguing that copyright predicates opt-in. Even without a copyright notice, one has to assume they're not allowed to copy. This is why violating the GPL is copyright infringement; without the GPL's blessing, it defaults to a no-distribute copyright policy.

I agree that a standard should exist. However, in the specific case of Google, Google is clear in describing the steps that a site administrator can take to exclude its content from Google's cache.

I'll be sure to tell that to the RIAA the next time they find my "cache" of CDs. They should have just followed my clear tagging policy if they didn't want me to be a cache of CDs for everyone. I mean, once they started selling them, they should have just accepted they weren't in control, so I can do just about whatever I want.

I'm not trying to suggest that this is a one-way street and that no copyright protection exists for Internet content, but, particularly in this case, it's hard to see that Google was stealing his site or its contents.

Sure, 'cause they're the good guys. It's so hard to see how fully copying the text of website, which for some websites is the only content (text ads), could be seen as copyright infringement. Silly me, thinking fair use was rather limited when it came to whole-sale copying. Well, clearly the RIAA can't sue me for the same basis.

Okay, now enough of the sarcasm, the fact is that this is pretty fundamentally a bad ruling, mostly because it's really uneven. Why is it that Napster can't even allow people to search each others file lists, but it's perfectly okay to flat out fully copy the files themselves when it's Google? What about when it's P2P and there's absolutely zero ads/money involved? You can't reasonably champion the support of such policies without fundamentally conceeding that some corporations are given special privileges over others.

You can't claim "it was on the internet" cause I can "cache" legally free itunes files and be busted (not happened yet, but undoubtedly going to happen eventually). You can't say "it's fair use" cause it's not like Google's the only one who distributes files without making money. The only claim Google really has going for it is "I'm ignorant, but you can tell me to remove whatever and I will". It's not like that'd fly with a small website, so I don't see how it'd work with Google--it might work the first time, but if the small website ever got the same file again, there'd be a lawsuit, and Google would still be claiming an "I'm ignorant" and likely believed.

Okay, now done with the little rant, I just want to say I'm against copyright. But I don't try to come up with some bullshit reasoning to give some people more or less ability to violate it. I'd love to see an end to copyright, and I'd love for there to be an actual fight by google to end it. But this pussy-footing bullshit that seems so clearly to be a cop-out because it's Google doesn't sit at all right with me. We should all be treated the same. And that means Google should be just as much required to fall within fair use and an opt-in system as anyone else.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572711)

you need to stop posting.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572820)

Well said. I can't believe that Google have been getting away with it for as long as they have and this ruling seems totally back to front.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (2, Insightful)

prSpectiv2 (450950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572838)

explain to me again why if this is fair use, why i can't make photocopies of every book in the bookstore

I'd say let's not be ridiculous but it looks like we're far too late for that. Books are "Products," aka items sold in exchange for access to intellectual or artistic property. If you don't own the book you can't give others access to it in the first place.

Maybe you didn't get the memo, but the ENTIRE INTERNET was designed to promote the free dissemination of publicly available information. Sites are not "Products," they are frameworks that allow access to content, which may or may not be free. When FREE CONTENT is sent unchanged from one computer to the next that means the web is working. If one party wants to restrict access to their content, they slap a password and encryption over it. It's common knowledge that this is how the web works: free until stated otherwise.

Your argument boils down to restricting the redistribution of content that is explicitly intended to be freely sent through dozens of computer systems before it's burned onto my monitor. By your argument, google should not only have to remove its cache, but all links to content that owners might not want to be accessible at any given moment, which adds up to every page on the net.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (4, Insightful)

dasil003 (907363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572847)

Allow me to quote your original message:

Google's cache is basically a large-scale financial transfer from the copyrightholders (who serve to benefit from the ads they serve and other interaction they get from end-users visitng their site) to google, who benefits directly by keeping people longer on google's site and thus, basically, shucks them more ads.

While I don't think it's an open and closed case, you won't convince anyone by spouting such hyperbole.

First of all, you're ignoring the fact that the main link goes to the actual website, and the only way to get to the cache is through a smaller link labeled "cache", which is unlikely to be clicked by someone who doesn't already know what it means. Furthermore, once they do click they get a very clear and prominent message in a frame stating that it is in fact a cache, and even explains what the cache is and how it works. So to say that it is a 'large-scale financial transfer' is just silly. At worst it's an extremely small-scale 'financial transfer', and that's a very dubious point to begin with.

So then in your response you say:

Nonsense. Google gains by drawing attention to itself and its other offerings. Let me ask you this simple question: if google doesn't gain financially, even if indirectly, why do they do it? Goodwill? Poppycock.

The same could be said about search in general. They are profiting off of other people's content, because without it there'd be nothing to search. I'm sorry, but there's no evidence that the cache hurts websites financially. And there is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence where it helps (eg. site goes down, customers go to cache to get phone # or contact email). Note that I'm not using that as support of Google's right to cache, merely as a counterargument against your baseless assertions.

You are basically saying that GOOGLE has the right to display YOUR content as GOOGLE sees fit.

Again with the hyberbole. No one believe Google has the right to display your content any way they want. What some people are arguing is that Google has the right to display your content as they do which is quite reasonable, and not deceptive in the least.

In the google cache situation, the owner effectively loses that right.

No, the page will disappear from Google once it is permanently down, it just takes some time. This may be a valid point about the internet archive, but then again information that finds its way on to the internet anywhere is likely to stick around for a long time.

In other news, explain to me again why if this is fair use, why i can't make photocopies of every book in the bookstore (for example, without photos) and offer them for free reading in my coffeeshop?

Um, because books cost money?

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

prSpectiv2 (450950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572238)

Let's keep things in perspective here. No one is losing due to missed revenue stream because Google's cache links preserve the original content in its entirety, including the content host's advertisements. As far as I've seen, Google strips all multimedia from cached pages and replaces it with links to the original server. So hosts still get click throughs and view-based ad revenues. Also, google does not advertise on top of cached pages, just provides links to the original page.

Besides, people (aka 'me') probably only use Google Cache when the original content provider is offline. If anything, content providers should be thanking Google for the backup.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572901)

I just checked this out with a number of my pages. There are substantially fewer ads on cached pages (1) than the real page on the site (4). The cached page is bang up to date (I checked a page that hasn't changed for a while). How can you argue, therefore, that I am not at least potentially loosing out on revenue?

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

prSpectiv2 (450950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573039)

Interesting, I've never seen that happen before. In my own defense I said "as far as I've seen," but yeah you're right to an extent. Obviously in this case you could lose out on potential revenue if the user goes to cache before the direct link, but who does that if the site is up? What's really ironic is that Google's own ads aren't accessible from Google's own cache.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572293)

When you put something on the internet, you are intentionally making it available for anyone to access and do pretty much whatever they want with it. It's up to the person who provides content on the internet to try to restrict it (i.e. place copyright notices or whatever). It's not job of the person who accesses the content to ask for permission on what to do with it. Don't put it out in public if you don't want anyone copying it. It's just common sense.

Those who do the "yesbutNOCACHEtag" dance have got it exactly right. Don't put the bloody thing on the internet if you don't want it cached. That's how the internet works.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572426)

When you put something on the internet, you are intentionally making it available for anyone to access and do pretty much whatever they want with it.

Unfortunately, while you may WISH this to be the case, this is not what the law says. Your wishful thinking doesn't make your statement true. You've basically invented your theory out of whole cloth, or, put another way, pulled it out of your ass.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (2, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572624)

Before you continue to smash people over the head with blunt and incorrect legal arguments, you should actually read the law which was referenced. You may find that it is not any clause defining Fair Use as you have quoted in other places, but rather a clause on catching. The link is right there on the front page.

As you have said:
"Unfortunately, while you may WISH this to be the case, this is not what the law says. Your wishful thinking doesn't make your statement true. You've basically invented your theory out of whole cloth, or, put another way, pulled it out of your ass."

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572739)

And my point, should you take care to actually think for a moment, was that the wrong law was applied. Or, did I miss your point? We're you actually going to defend the idiot who claimed that anything put on the internet is automatically basically free-for-all because he said it was?

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572919)

Two things: if Googles cache vanished tomorrow the Internet would still work. Copyright is implicit - you don't have to apply for it or add any notices to your work for it to apply (it is recommended that you display a copyright notice but _not_ required).

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572424)

I can see where you are coming from. However, logically, considering your stated concerns, you should be a lot more worried about the transparent web caches operated by many ISPs and companies who want to reduce their bandwidth charges. They actually do cache copyrighted content in its entirety, unlike google, who don't cache any images (or sound or video).

Re:I don't like this ruling. (4, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572453)

"Fair Use" is broadly supposed to have minimal to nil financial effects on the copyrightholder

Before we address this (false) assumption, here's what's happening:

Copyright holder makes a web page available *FOR FREE* to the general public. Google caches it. Please explain how Google's cache financially hurts the copyright holder. Providing something *FOR FREE* that is available *FOR FREE* would seem to have a "nil financial effect on the copyright holders", no?

Google's cache is basically a large-scale financial transfer from the copyrightholders

Sorry, WHAT ?!!??!

Financial == monetary matters. I haven't checked in the past 5 minutes, but prior to that, someone visting your (free, publically accessible) website doesn't move money from your bank account to theirs.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (0, Flamebait)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572519)

Fair Use

The "fair use" of a copyrighted work, including use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. Copyright owners are, by law, deemed to consent to fair use of their works by others. The Copyright Act does not define fair use. Instead, whether a use is fair use is determined by balancing these factors:

  • The purpose and character of the use.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use on the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
In short, clearly you don't know what the hell you are talking about. The information put on a website is only "free" in the sense you don't pay money for it. However, when, for example, a company puts up a website, they are not doing so because they have extra money that they feel like giving you. Rather, they do it because you are in effect "paying" them by building their brand reputation, ego, attracting you to their other offerings, and so forth. Economics 101, man.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (4, Insightful)

pthisis (27352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572583)

"Fair Use" is broadly supposed to have minimal to nil financial effects on the copyrightholder and in general the "fair user" is doing the using for personal reasons.

This is not true. Ebert & Roeper can show a movie clip, do some scathing commentary, decrease the film's box office take, and make money in the process, and that's clearly fair use. Protecting negative criticism is one of the core philosophical reasons behind fair use (originally, anyway) and it clearly has the potential to have devastating financial effects on the copyright holder.

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572649)

"This is not true. Ebert & Roeper can show a movie clip, do some scathing commentary, decrease the film's box office take, and make money in the process, and that's clearly fair use."

you've misinterpreted the issue. Epert and Roeper can decrease the box office's take by making a negative review. The basic balancing test required to ensure that use is fair use says otherwise to what you state.

I encourage you to read the following: Definition of Fair Use [auburn.edu] (pay special attention to points 3 and 4 there). I also encourage you to find out what a "balancing test" means, legally, in case that term is new to you.

POSTED No Trespassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572877)

This is no different that being required to put up a no trespassing sign on your property to keep people off of it.

Not everything is "secure by default" :)

Re:I don't like this ruling. (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572885)

One thing I've noticed about Google Cache is it still loads the original images from the original server, so the ads are still there for those people, and with the highlighted crap it's not efficient or pretty to look at the google cache most of the time as well.

I'm sure you're right... (2, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573065)

I'm sure you're right. I'm sure you're much smarter than the judge, and have a much better grasp of the law. What a pity that you weren't the one judging the case!

Sorry, mumbles, but I don't buy it. My money's on the judge being right, and you being a loudmouth with too much time to post over and over, as you have in reply to everybody who argued with you.

And to try to actually contribute something to the debate: So you don't like the "fair use" part of the decision. Fair enough; though as I said, between you and the judge, my money's on the judge as the one who correctly groks what fair use is all about. But that aside, what about the other three points? Most interestingly, what about the "implied license" point?

And what about the judge's assessment that Field was "attempting to manufacture a suit against Google"? That is, this wasn't about actual injury to Field, it was about Field actively looking for a chance to sue someone? Does any of that matter to you?

Re:I'm sure you're right... (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573170)

you're right. judges are always right and always make the smartest decisions. not only that, but all legal scholars agree with all decisions that judges make, because, again, judges are always right.

I type faster than you. get over it. total time spent on this thread 10 minutes while doing other work. i happen to think it's an interesting topic needing debate - i will call bad arguments bad (and there have been several bad arguments here), but i am willing to listen to any good ones that come up.

No, *you've* got it backward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14573070)

You act as if copyright exists for the benefit of the copyright holders, and fair use is a bone thrown to the rest of the public by the copyright holders so long as it does not impose an undue burden on the copyright holders. This is backward.

In fact copyright exists for the benefit of the public itself, and fair use is a mechanism by which the public ensures that the bones they've thrown the copyright holders do not impose an undue burden on everyone else.

The police and government may have been acting as if they work for the copyright holders rather than the public lately, but "intellectually" that is not where the responsibilities are or are supposed to lie. If the public cannot make backup caches of publicly available material in case the copyright holder becomes unavailable later, the utility of that material is serverely diminished to everyone else in a way the copyright holder can not fairly claim they have earned. Google happens to run one such cache; that is a coincidence. It is not the only one.

All through your post you're using the language of capitalism, libertarianism, and property. This language means nothing when you're talking about a government-created market interferance like copyright. Copyright is not a form of property.

It was obviously a cheap ploy to make come cash (0)

Archbob (949219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572091)

Anyone an see this was one of those idiotic lawsuits in a cheap attempts to make some cash.

Whooooosh! (3, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572130)

That overwhelmingly loud noise everyone just heard was the sound of every Slashdot reader gasping at the fact that the DMCA just got used for something positive.

NOARCHIVE (2, Interesting)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572176)

wonder if the guy bothered with a robots.txt or used the meta NOARCHIVE - not that actually preventing that was his intent.
i don't mind the google cache at all, what drives me up a wall is what jeeves and other engines do with external pages by sticking them in a frame. so, if you put code in the page to force it out of frames, then engines like yahoo penalize (or drop from the index entirely) for messing with the user navigation.....

Re:NOARCHIVE (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572304)

I was going to say the same thing, then I saw your post. I contacted google and asked them not to cache my pages years ago and they said, to put add a meta tag with that in it and my pages would not be cached. It works. What are these guys so into sue someone today that they can't code their pages right?

Re:NOARCHIVE (1)

hogfat (944873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572613)

It seems he knew exactly how to prevent Google's caching of his pages, yet decided not to disallow it. In fact, the ruling seems to indicate that he submitted his site to Google and created his copyrighted works in order to bring about this lawsuit.

The "Implied License" is the most interesting (4, Insightful)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572528)

Forget the fair use analysis, the most important thing here is the success of the "Implied License" claim. Basically, it goes like this: You operate a website. The web was created specifically with the idea that "robots" would crawl across it, and there is a standard well-known way to prevent them from crawling your site. Even more specifically, there's another standard well-known way to keep search engines from cacheing your content. Being on the web but not using these techniques means that you give search engines permission to cache your content.

It's sort of like what happens when you leave a potful of candy at your front-door on Oct. 31st. In theory, you could claim that all those kids who come to your door and help themselves are stealing. But, because everybody knows how Halloween works, you've implicitly given permission for them to do it.

In this opinion, the Fair Use analysis was basically just used as a stopgap of "what little infringement that's left after you account for the implied license is a fair use." If the website had included a robots.txt file, the fair use case would have been much harder to make.

The Implied License is a stake in the ground for "This is the Internet. The rules are different here." IMO, that's a good thing -- there are a bunch of things that just couldn't happen if you had to get explicit permission from every content owner.

I believe in an opt-in Internet. (3, Insightful)

rjonesx2 (947289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572534)

The Google cache is absolutely ridiculous. As an individual who has had quite a bit of experience on both sides of the white hat / black hat search engine industry, the cache is NOT a webmaster's friend.

1. The cache removes content control away from the author. For example, a site like EzineArticles.com prevents scraping by using an IP blocking method based on the speed at which pages are spidered by that IP. It is absurdly easy to circumvent this by simply spidering the Google cache of that article instead of spidering the site. Google's IP blocking is far less restrictive, and combined with the powerful search tool, it allows for easy, anonymous contextual scraping of sites whose Terms of Service explicitly refuse it.

2. The cache extends access to removed content, often for months if not years at a time. Google rarely replaces 404 pages (perhaps it is because of their wish to have the largest number of indexed pages). I have clients who have nearly 48,000 non existent pages still cached in google that have not been present in over 14 months. Despite using 404s, 301s, etc. these pages have not yet been removed. Furthermore, Google's often mishandling of robots.txt, nocache, and nofollow leaves webmasters dependent upon search traffic hesitant to force removal of these pages using the supposedly standardized methods of removal.

3. The cache allows Google to serve site content anonymously. Don't want the owner of a site to know you are looking at their goods (think of companies grepping for competitor IPs), just watch the cache instead.

The list goes on and on. But I think the point is this...

Why should a web author have to be technologically savvy to keep his or her content from being reproduced by a multi-billion dollar US company? Content control used to be as simple as "you write it, its yours". It got a little more complicated with time to the point at which it might be useful to use, perhaps, a Terms of Service. Even a novice could write "No duplication allowed without expressed consent". Now, a web author must know how to manipulate HTML meta tags and/or a robots.txt file.

Fair use is for users, for people, not multi-billion dollar companies.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

gowness (941748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572637)

im new and havent been keeping up with this whole lawsuit, but exactly how is google actualy using the cache other than just keeping a record of sites. ok yes its the creators site, but i still dont see how google is useing it.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572755)

I think the commentor right above you has hit the nail on the head, though: there is a well-known, standard way to prevent these things from happening (robots.txt and meta tags), so if you choose not to use those tools, you're granting people an implicit license index your stuff. As he said - if you leave a bowl of candy on the front lawn on the 31st of October, are you going to sue kids that help themselves to it? Probably not, and even if you did, you likely wouldn't win. Everybody knows that these things happen at Halloween, so you wouldn't have a case.

Another example (this time one of my own): if you go to a doctor who says "I'm going to give you a flu shot now", and if he then proceeds to do just that, can you sue him because you did not explicitely said "I allow you to do this"? I don't think so - you *knew* what would happen if you didn't say anything or otherwise indicate that you didn't agree to getting a flu shot. IIRC, the legal term is "concludent behaviour" (although it may be a different one in English).

Same thing applies here: if you put a web page on the web, you have to expect people to use it, and the fact that you didn't do anything to prevent that even though you easily could've means that you don't have a case later on when something someone does doesn't sit well with you. Deep links, indexing for search engines (not counting caching) and caching all fall under this.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

ClearlyPennsylvania (918245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572769)

Fair use is for users, for people, not multi-billion dollar companies.
Actually, "fair use" is frequently used for quotes in books - Book A quotes Book B, and is allowed to because of fair use. So, fair use is applied to large, wealthy companies - all the time, actually. In fact, I think this is exactly what fair use is for.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

rjonesx2 (947289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573121)

Fair use has never, to this point, included duplication and reproduction of a complete work for financial gain. That is what I am getting at. We are not talking about snippets here, we are talking about the complete duplication of a copyrighted work being reprinted without author permission. The burden, in past, has always been on the copyright licensor, not the copyright owner. For example, an author did not have to know the law to write a book, publish it, and prevent its contents from being fully redistributed for profit without his or her knowledge. Now, authors must be familiar with HTML (and have access to it, mind you, as many users publish to free blogs that do not grant this access) to prevent republication by Google. Google is stealing traffic from authors by republishing their materials without direct consent.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

babyrat (314371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572907)

Why shouldn't fair use apply to corporations? What's the cutoff point? Can someone quote someone else in a book? That book is making a multi-billion dollar corporation money - but that would be considered fair use.

Or consider that the document isn't really reproduced until someone (an individual) requests the page, then it is being reproduced for that individual. Wow - that's too philosophical.

Fair use applies just as much to old fashioned printed documents as it does to web documents. If you had a line in your Terms of Service that "No duplication allowed without expressed consent", your document could still be reproduced under the fair use laws of copyright law (by an individual or a corporation). You don't want someone doing this, then don't commit it to hardcopy and give it to them. You don't want something reproduced electronically (under the fair use laws) then don't put it on the web for everyone to see.

Why should a web author have to be technologically savvy to keep his or her content from being reproduced by a multi-billion dollar US company?

Because he's publishing it on a technological platform? Why should I have to learn to write in order to create a book? Well, I don't - I could hire someone to transcribe my words. A web author could hire someone to publish web pages too.

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14573084)

Your post translated:

"I hate the google cache because it proves that I'm deceiving users into clicking my links because I'm a scumbag who employs cloaking techniques to artificially manipulate search results. Wah."

Re:I believe in an opt-in Internet. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573200)

OPT-IN INTERNET!!!

It's already opt-in. If you don't want people using your website, don't put it on the net. Shut down your server.

Personally, I think Google should ignore, (or at least penalise with lower rankings) sites that use noarchive.

There's nothing worse than finding an article in Google, clicking on the link, and the page not longer part of the website. Being able to read the cached version means the result is not a total waste of time.

I realise the internet is used to make money, and that controlling information is a way that websites think that they'll make money, but search engines are used to find information, not to try and coax subscribers to shithole websites trying to make a buck.

Lowering the pagerank of sites with the 'noarchive' tag will improve the search engine's ability to get useful information for the user.

May be a hint of how the book scanning will go. (2, Informative)

Godeke (32895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572597)

After reading the actual opinion that granted summary judgement, if this same logic is applied to the scanning and offering of search on "real world" materials, Google may be able to withstand lawsuits on the book scanning effort quite well. There are some differences that could create a different outcome, but this outcome was 100% favorable to Google and the idea of indexing and caching of materials to allow such search and reference was solidly defended by the judge.

Re:May be a hint of how the book scanning will go. (1)

Shakes268 (856460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572683)

I think it may be a little bit different. If I put up a copy of an article I've written for viewing on my web site I have essentially published it for the masses freely. Sure, If someone tries to steal it I should, under law have copyright protection keeping someone from publishing it later and making money off of it.

However, if I have a book that is written and sold with the contents not available online I see it being a little bit different. Google has to violate my copyright to scan or copy the material of the book into electronic form then they are hosting the copyrighted material on their website without my consent. Anyone remember the sign above the photocopier in the university library with warnings about copyright violations??

If I had made the contents of the book available on my web site as free content and they cached the page, I don't think there would be anything anyone could do.

Re:May be a hint of how the book scanning will go. (1)

Godeke (32895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572831)

I agree to a point, but the ruling made it clear that the "additional social value" of access was a consideration for the fair use acceptance. Google is using the same argument for the book search tool, and since it was accepted here, perhaps it will have a leg to stand on.

The realities of the case that was just ruled in Google's favor would seem on a literal reading of copyright law to be in the copyright owners favor. The judge quite clearly found that fair use applied in a context I was suprised by.

He also found in the section discussing license that because Google has several opt out mechansims (robots.txt, meta tags and direct contact) that the client failed to avail himself to, they had an implied license. Google has been very vocal in the book effort that any work would be excluded simply by asking for it to be excluded. I thought that was weak, but the judge her found passive licensing to be in force in this case, which may mean that anyone who doesn't actually request removal in the book effort may be seen as passively approving the indexing.

My point wasn't that it made it a slam dunk, but that this case went so favorably that it made it more likely that the book scanning cases might as well, something that surprised me.

Re:May be a hint of how the book scanning will go. (1)

Shakes268 (856460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573000)

I think the content in question here, was passively licensed by placing it in a publicly accessible format as the internet. Without the use of any robots.txt or meta tags to prevent engines from traversing the content and by not protecting the content via any type of password protection,etc he opened the content up freely.

I think with the books, google employees (or temps) have to physically get a book, scan it into the system, catalog it and make it available. By making it available to someone without the consent (in my opinion they should have an opt-in policy, not an opt-out policy for exclusion) of the owner of the IP contained within the book they have committed copyright violations on the same grounds that the RIAA seem to be suing many over. Making copyrighted material available online or in any format without consent or licensing is illegal. It's literature piracy.

Yes, this is just my opinion but I have a few books published and know how I feel on the subject.

Slashdot Cache Ruled Fair Use!! (3, Interesting)

LesPaul75 (571752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572661)

Ok, no more excuses Slashdot... It's time to start caching pages and preventing the Slashdot effect.

Web caches too! (2, Interesting)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572753)

What about web caches? They violate copyright law too! My firefox does it too. Should I use 0 Mbytes of disk space for browser caching?

you Fa1l It!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14572786)

What 4rovCides the

Where's the engine for the robots.txt excluded? (3, Interesting)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572821)

By now someone must have created a search engine that only indexes sites whose robots.txt tells them not to index. I'm surprised I haven't heard of a particular one. Bet it would raise a few hackles though...

Need a 'Loser Pays' Rule on Frivolous Suits (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572911)

Google gained precedent, but shouldn't have to foot the legal bill for fighting this. The system wrongfully (IMHO) allows these people(gold digger and his ambulance chaser) to put no skin in the game.

What A Pity... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14572997)

What a pity that Chinese citizens will never know if the archived material discusses Tibet or Tiananmen Square. But that's alright, greed trumps decency and ethics anyways. Oh, and I have every expectation that the Google apologists will mod me flamebait, so go on, I've got karma to burn and a deep abiding hatred of evil corporations that aid tyrants that are scared of simple words.

Torrents - (1)

bizitch (546406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14573036)

So if I use Google's cache to locate torrents for say I don't know ... King Kong (2005) ... I'm all good?
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