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Lawsuit Against Google Dismissed

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-a-pony dept.

The Courts 89

Weather Storm writes in with news from PCWorld that a US District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Google by a company that accused them of manipulating search results for political and religious reasons and skewing results in favor of companies that compensate Google financially. The lawsuit (discussed on Slashdot last year) was filed by KinderStart, a parenting information Web site that claims it was illegally blocked from Google search results. The judge not only dismissed the lawsuit but granted a motion by Google to sanction KinderStart and one of its lawyers. Google can now seek "reasonable compensation" for attorney fees because KinderStart's lawyer filed claims that were factually baseless and did not perform an adequate investigation before filing the lawsuit.

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89 comments

Fr0STY P1SS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476627)


Pouring up a tall mug of the frosty piss since 1998!
 

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476629)

ACOUSTIC RECTUM CLIP

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476745)

I looked down at Vaughan's long thighs and hard buttocks. However carnal an act of sodomy with Vaughan would have seemed, the erotic dimension was absent. Yet this absence made a sexual act with Vaughan entirely possible. The placing of my penis in his rectum as we lay together in the rear seat of his car would be an event as stylized and abstracted as those recorded in Vaughan's photographs.

this thread is progressing nicely (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476981)

rock hard bonez
hard dix
feelin' real gay
cock 2 cock
tuff knobs
popper solutions
ass feelaz

GOOGLE FARTS!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481621)

And like usuall. slashdot smells it!!!! sergey brins taintjuice

Factually baseless (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476631)

Google can now seek "reasonable compensation" for attorney fees because KinderStart's lawyer filed claims that were factually baseless and did not perform an adequate investigation before filing the lawsuit.
Like 99% of Viacom's lawsuit?

Go to your room! (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476649)

The lawsuit was filed by KinderStart, a parenting information Web site that claims it was illegally blocked from Google search results.
So the judge ruled in Google's favor and decided they could seek damages against KinderStart . . . for acting like a bunch of babies.

Re:Go to your room! (3, Funny)

neonmonk (467567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476669)

Maybe Google will give them something to cry about.

Re:Go to your room! (1, Funny)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476677)

All I got to say about this is 'neener, neener', and 'Ok, now, US civil justice system: do the same bit of good against Viacom'.

Re:Go to your room! (2, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476845)

How is this dude's comment a troll?!

Re:Go to your room! (0, Troll)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478795)

perhaps a mod mistakenly assumed "neener" was a slang term for penis?

Re:Go to your room! (1)

Blrfl (46596) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477659)

Like it or not, the difference between the two is that Viacom actually has a case.

Re:Go to your room! (1)

Ansoni-San (955052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477969)

No, they don't. The law clearly states that Google is in the right.

Re:Go to your room! (1)

Blrfl (46596) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478061)

In retrospect, you're right.

Re:Go to your room! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476825)

I like how their search engine uses google adsense...

Not far enough (5, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476707)

So KinderStart's case was dismissed because they didn't have any evidence? All well and good, but I would've preferred a ruling that said even if they could substantiate their claims, that they were not entitled to any damages.

I mean, so what if Google skews their search results? They aren't under any obligation to link to the whole web or to do so in an objective manner.

Re:Not far enough (5, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476797)

Actually the judge's ruling went about as far as the judge was in a position to go.

Kinderstart didn't have any claims that had merit, so there wasn't really a possibility of creating any new precedent or caselaw. They judge just tossed the whole thing out, and then as a bonus, said they were so ridiculously bad, that Kinderstart should have known not to bring such a steaming pile into the courtroom, in the first place.

In order to 'go any further,' Kinderstart would have needed to have a claim with a modicum of merit, which they didn't.

I guess maybe you can hope that someone smarter will sue Google for the same thing tomorrow, but I think they're probably just happy for the moment.

Re:Not far enough (5, Funny)

BruceCage (882117) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477313)

Why doesn't Google just sue itself and set precedent?

Re:Not far enough (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18483597)

Sorry, there's already a precendent [nzherald.co.nz] for that, just not in America.

Re:Not far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18478775)

I can't say I agree with that reasoning.

Let's say I sue my neighbor for something ludicrous like that the tree in his front yard is too high and is blocking the sun from my window. With the above reasoning, the court would first gather the evidence whether the tree is really as high as I claim, instead of just dismissing the suit saying "Are you nuts? You can't sue someone over that".

Re:Not far enough (totally OT) (2, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18479477)

...there wasn't really a possibility of creating any new precedent or caselaw.

Maybe it's just early in the morning, but I read that phrase as "creating any new precedent or coleslaw."

Then I thought WTF? You mean the judge wanted to make salad out of KinderStart? Why not just give them their just desserts?

Re:Not far enough (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18480195)

They judge just tossed the whole thing out, and then as a bonus, said they were so ridiculously bad, that Kinderstart should have known not to bring such a steaming pile into the courtroom, in the first place.
 
How does this differ from the SCO case? It appears that this Kinderstart thing was in-and-out within a matter of several months, as no evidence was presented.
 
No evidence has been presented in SCO yet, either, and it's dragging on for years.
 
Does SCO just have better lawyers than this lot?

Re:Not far enough (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18489313)

How does this differ from the SCO case?

Kinderstart isn't funded by MS.

And SCO's lawyers are at least somewhat competent at making claims that could possibly have some merit, if they weren't complete fabrications.

Re:Not far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18481207)

In order to 'go any further,' Kinderstart would have needed to have a claim with a modicum of merit, which they didn't.
Which we all know won't stop years of wasteful time in court. If you do not know of what I speak, it is SCO v. IBM.

Re:Not far enough (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477085)

I mean, so what if Google skews their search results? They aren't under any obligation to link to the whole web or to do so in an objective manner.

I think it would be good if there was an explicit exemption in copyright law for a site that did link to the whole web in an objective manner. It would put an end to the other type of suit that Google continually faces.

Re:Not far enough (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477127)

It would put an end to the other type of suit that Google continually faces.

And it would put a bunch of lawyers out of work. What are you? Some kind of commie?

Re:Not far enough (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478837)

Don't be ridiculous. It would do no such thing. It would open the floodgates to a slew of additional lawsuits alleging Google isn't "objective". At present Google has no such obligation.

Re:Not far enough (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478925)

That is a suit that only needs to be defended once. Once Google is judged to be objective, they can use that as a precedent to have other cases dismissed quickly without going to trial.

Re:Not far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18479371)

That is a suit that only needs to be defended once. Once Google is judged to be objective, they can use that as a precedent to have other cases dismissed quickly without going to trial.

I think you, more than any of the 18,478,924 posts before yours, need to clearly specify "IANAL", as you clearly have no clue what you're talking about.

Re:Not far enough (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18479819)

I think its fairly obvious that IANAL, since I am making suggestions that might take work away from them.

Re:Not far enough (1)

snitty (308387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477385)

The actual test would have been: that, taking everything in KinderStart's pleadings to be true, they still did not state a claim for which relief could be granted. Basically, no where is there anything that creates a duty for a company to make its searches fair.

Pay attention, kids (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476733)

This is why doing your homework is important.

Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (4, Insightful)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476735)

Skewing coverage and results? Imagine if the US News Media had to abide by such rules -- we wouldnt have 24hr coverage of the latest girl being kidnapped. Perhaps we could actually get news on world events, aside from that "World in 30 seconds" segment.

Re:Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476855)

Sure we'd have 24 hour coverage of girls being kidnapped. They'd just have to show other girls who aren't blond haired, blue eyed, attractive and from affluent families.

Re:Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (3, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476861)

It would be more likely the opposite. We would have 24 hour coverage of Britney Spears' breakdowns and freak potatoes shaped like Elvis' head because nobody would want to air anything influential and possibly get in legal trouble.
The media is inane enough, it doesn't need more help from people who 'know what is good for us'.

Re:Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476883)

Imagine if the US News Media had to abide by such rules -- we wouldnt have 24hr coverage of the latest girl being kidnapped.


No kidding. I'm sick and tired of such pointless news. We should focus on more important things -- like Britney's Hair [wikipedia.org] .

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476995)

No kidding. I'm sick and tired of such pointless news. We should focus on more important things -- like Britney's Hair.
*Sigh* Just goes to show how quickly real news is forgotten. What about the question of paternity for Anna Nicole Smith's child!? That still hasn't gone away you know!

"I have no idea, I don't care about that" (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18479005)

*Sigh* Just goes to show how quickly real news is forgotten. What about the question of paternity for Anna Nicole Smith's child!? That still hasn't gone away you know!

I was listening to some back Podcasts of the Penn Jillette Radio Show and one episode had Drew Carey on, who was lamenting the 'latest news' cycle and how as a celebrity he's expected to do press vignettes and have an opinion on everything. He advocated the "I have no idea, I don't care about that" approach. It almost seems culturally abhorrent, doesn't it? Thinking about that some more shows how productized we've become as consumers of media, and for me anyway, is quite a warning flag to get back to what matters in life.

Re:Imagine if NewsMedia Had To Do This! (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478623)

Imagine if the US News Media had to abide by such rules

I can easily imagine a system where the news media had to report on issues that the government wanted it to report on. Freedom of the press is for those commie "glasnost" whiners.

A Good Start (1, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476749)

I'd like to see the same thing happen to the RIAA next.

Re:A Good Start (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477229)

Sorry, Good Start (TM) is already taken. That's what you call 5000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean.

Wait, maybe I missed something (5, Informative)

malkir (1031750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476753)

I RTFA'd, and checking out KinderStart.com I noticed that KinderStart is just a search engine *for kids*, meaning that they remove things that they believe are not 'ok' for children to see...
...and their bitching about Google skewing their search results?

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476765)

they're*

English, motherfucker, you do not speak it!

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476823)

The people at KinderStart (let's be honest - it's actually just some fat stay-at-home house frau with six kids) sure have a lot of balls. I mean, NAMBLA got in a lot of trouble for sending out news letters to members with rather detailed instruction guides on how to get away with child molestation. But to have an entire search engine that is just for kids?! That's just wrong and I demand that our politicians put a stop to this perverted sickness and these freakos so openly helping match child molestors with children via their search engine for kids.

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476875)

No kidding. Search KinderStart for "shit" [kinderstart.com] and it comes up with four results. And none of those actually have anything to do with shit! How skewed is that?
 

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476893)

Lets see if we can "slashdot" this KinderStart thing. Everyone click that link, and/or write a script to hit it repeatedly.

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18479009)

Then they would bring a frivolous suit against slashdot, which would be quite funny as it would have no merit either.

Re:Wait, maybe I missed something (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18483561)

I tried a few "dodgy" words and eventually enjoyed their results for "snuff" [kinderstart.com] . Big green tits!

Haha (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476777)

Fuck. [kinderstart.com] Can I sue them for removing search results?

Well, Google Can Sue Them (5, Interesting)

FeldBum (933176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476919)

No, but Google can sue them. They even have evidence:

http://www.kinderstart.com/cgi-bin/sqlsearch.cgi?p os=1&query=google&language=&advanced=&urlonly=&wit hid= [kinderstart.com]

They have been removed from KinderStart's search engine, in violation of their first amendment right to free speech!

Re:Well, Google Can Sue Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477049)

...in violation of their first amendment right to free speech!
What a stupid thing to say. The Google people can say whatever the hell they like. Doesn't mean anyone has to index it.

Re:Well, Google Can Sue Them (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478137)

No, it would have been removed IN ACCORDANCE with their (KinderStart's) right to free speech.

Just as you (in some countries) have a right to say what you want (within reason), you equally have a right to NOT say anything you want.

Google didn't become as big as they are because they promised to be objective, but because their search algorithms return fairly reliable, useful results. Try this for example: Google 'kinderstart' and see how many results are related to the actual site, and how many are related to the court case. They've shot themselves in the foot in the most ironic way possible - their google rank has plummeted because they have created so much information on a related subject.

Re:Well, Google Can Sue Them (1)

FeldBum (933176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478317)

Actually, I was employing a humor device known as sarcasm [wikipedia.org] to highlight the absurdity of the lawsuit brought by KinderStart. As for the KinderStart results, it's quite obvious they've been penalized. The publicity they generated has earned them backlinks from many reputable sources (including /.) but they are not enjoying that link power.

Re:Well, Google Can Sue Them (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478859)

Actually, I was employing a humor device known as sarcasm [wikipedia.org] to highlight the absurdity of the lawsuit brought by KinderStart.
Yeah, I think the problem people are having is that in order for something to be recognized as humor, it actually has to be funny. It wasn't a very good joke.

Re:Well, Google Can Sue Them (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478685)

They have been removed from KinderStart's search engine, in violation of their first amendment right to free speech!

Note that KinderStart isn't too proud to show Google Ads, though.

Frankly, if I were in Google's ad department, I'd be easing things like "meet sexy preteens!" into that particular rotation. After all, the site is supposed to be all about kids, right? Then surely the hyper-protective parents who'd visit would want to find more of them. KinderStart.com would be a perfect portal domain for everyone who loves children, and maybe Google could bury the hatchet by helping them along that path.

Re:Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477591)

Breasts! [kinderstart.com]

Sql, Oracle (1)

BovineSpirit (247170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478243)

In the example above, if the word "sql" is found, it is counted as a match. Also, if the word "oracle" is found, it is counted as a match as well. What the hell kind of kids look for 'sql' and 'oracle' but don't know about Google/Yahoo? The whole instruction page looks like it was written by a CS major, with no idea of his target audience.

Something in the water (5, Funny)

Umuri (897961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476857)

Judges are starting to make sense and get onto companies for being legal morons.... Where are they comming from and what are they putting in the water in that city?

Re:Something in the water (3, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476889)

Bill O'Reilly would call this judge a secularist-progressive activist legislator and demand his removal from the bench. Or something.

I never understood (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476867)

Why people feel that Google is obligated to do anything with their search results. They have the right to censor their search results however they like - their search results do not affect the existence of actual websites.

Re:I never understood (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476977)

Why people feel that Google is obligated to do anything with their search results. They have the right to censor their search results however they like - their search results do not affect the existence of actual websites.
The bundling of IE with Windows didn't negate the existance of Netscape nor the ability to install it.
Once a company reaches a certain level of dominance it then takes on additional scrutiny. Google has just about reached a point where it could control the ability for a commercial website to succeed. With that power, practices like changing search results based on how much money they receive could be seen as coercive.

Re:I never understood (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477159)

Why people feel that Google is obligated to do anything with their search results. They have the right to censor their search results however they like - their search results do not affect the existence of actual websites.
The bundling of IE with Windows didn't negate the existance of Netscape nor the ability to install it.
Once a company reaches a certain level of dominance it then takes on additional scrutiny. Google has just about reached a point where it could control the ability for a commercial website to succeed. With that power, practices like changing search results based on how much money they receive could be seen as coercive.
It is even more than that. I am sure there are docs and press releases from google inc that search results from google are machine-only, that can be seen as a pledge that they don't mess with them. If they do, that would be false advertisement and punishable by law.

Re:I never understood (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477215)

I am sure there are docs and press releases from google inc that search results from google are machine-only, that can be seen as a pledge that they don't mess with them.

These facts are about as related as the color of my car & its make & model. (As in, they're kinda related, but no, not really.)

No such pledge... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482099)

Actually, if you read those documents you'll see that while Google admits that most pages are machine indexed, they DO retain the option to manually mess with the system however they please. This ranges from 'tuning' their ranking system to manually removing sites if necessary. They do this mostly to attempt to at least control the link farm sites, which would render their service useless in short order if not controlled.

It's the same reason as to why they keep their system secret - if the farmers had access to their alogorithms they could be defeated fairly easily.

Copyright? (1)

_pruegel_ (581143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477367)

IANAL. As long as Google automatically indexes all web pages and treats them the same, there is no problem. As soon as Google starts to manually prefer some pages and puts thought into creating a "new work" using the indexed pages it might become a copyright violation. Not sure about this though.

Re:I never understood (2, Interesting)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477543)

While Google certainly has the right to control their own results, they have a moral obligation not to abuse this power. Too many people - both web searchers and site owners - depend on it.

Not to say that I agree with Kinderstart.com's reasoning, but they do have one: Google has become, in effect, the world's online navigation system. Being de-listed from Google (or even demoted; who wades through more than the first few pages of results unless they are looking for something specific?) is the WWW equivalent of being removed (or obscured) from the phone books, maps, "services next right" highway signs, travel guides, and so on. Google search provides most of those options, and, much like the physical world's AAA maps or Lonely Planet guides or so forth, Google is often seen as The Authority on the subject to the point that many alternative sources for such info are virtually unknown or at least unused.

Also as with the real world, location and visibility matter. Facebook.com or MySpace.com might not do as well if Google de-listed them entirely, but could survive because people know the URLs and can exchange them easily. YouTube.com is linked from so many places that Google web searches probably add fairly little to its total hits (and anyhow, people could go to the site and then search internally if they were looking for something). However, unlike in the real world, you could have a 64-character GUID for a URL and effectively no permanent links from other sites (analogous to living in the middle of nowhere down a road with a thousand dead ends and no street signs) and if Google crawls your site people will still come.

Indeed the vast majority of the web functions like this. Aside from a few sites that I visit regularly or have found some reason to write down, I do not remember any URLs off the top of my head. Heck, I couldn't reach half my bookmarked sites without a search engine or a good long time (if then). I could probably reach them if I was allowed to use, for example, Live search (but not Google) but it would take longer since I'm less familiar with the search conventions Live (or Yahoo, or any of the few other engines I know of) use. At that, I've been searching the web since before AltaVista was the engine of choice, since well before Google existed probably. Considering studies that show things like "70% of high school students in the USA cannot refine an overly broad Internet search" do you really think people have a chance of finding a site like KinderStart if it isn't in the first handful of responses ('handful' being a flexible term controlled by the number of nearly identical companies/sites... maybe "first 0.1%" would be better) for searches like "parenting info search engine" (sans quotes)? I don't. (Side note: I constructed that search query as the kind of thing a person familiar with web search but not very good at it might have used. Even so, neither Google not Live turned it up in the first 50 responses, and indeed by page four Google's responses were so wildly off base many people would ahve given up entirely. Live.com did better, but if the user had heard about kinderstart.com, and remembered the description but not the URL, they probably wouldn't have found it. They would have gone elsewhere, taking their valuable site ulitization and advertisement watching with them.)

Re:I never understood (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478865)

While Google certainly has the right to control their own results, they have a moral obligation not to abuse this power.

While I kind of agree with you about a moral obligation, I think it is important that this is not misconstrued to be any sort of legal obligation.

I depend on organic google traffic for a sizable proportion of my income, but I can't see how opening the door to making the search engine responsible for the business model of websites can be a good thing. If it's opened even a crack there will be a thousand law suits at every algo change; it needs to be clear and definite in law that search engines' right to list, delist and rank as they see fit is absolute, since this is the only stable foundation on which a search engine can exist. Changing this would in effect create a massive barrier to entry for competing search engines, since they would have to take into account the potential for massive legal costs.

Dominant search engines have attempted to push their power to far before, and have been destroyed by market forces (anyone remember Pay For Inclusion). For all Google's market share, the same thing would happen to them if they started to deliver a noticeably inferior product to their searchers. As long as this situation remains the same, there is no need for this sort of regulation of search engines IMO.

Could lowering a sites ranking be defermation? (1)

cpuffer_hammer (31542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478407)

Asking theoretically;
          If a site is number 1 according to the algorithmic ranking engine, that says something about is place in world (or at list World Wide Web) opinion. Then the search company lowers the sites ranking standing for some reason (lets assume that this is because of the political views of the search company). Could the site make a claim that is was being slandered because it was not being ranked as the algorithmic ranking engine indicates?

Re:Could lowering a sites ranking be defermation? (1)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478451)

Could the site make a claim that is was being slandered because it was not being ranked as the algorithmic ranking engine indicates?

No. The ranking engine is not a static entity. The rankings change all the time as they tweak the algorithm and it's parameters, and they have no obligation to either keep anything from changing or disclose exactly how they rank (since that is one of their major trade secrets).

In other news... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18476887)

...Slashdot is sued for making everyone think this has something to do with the Viacom lawsuit. ;)

Absolute tragedy (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18476899)

Every time a lawsuit is dismissed, a lawyer's secretary breaks a nail.

talk about a backfire (1)

binford2k (142561) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477171)

If you search google for "kinderstart" now, the website doesn't even show up in the first 10 pages of hits.

Why have Google ads then? (3, Funny)

Electrik Kool Aid (1065730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477263)

Is it just me or does having Google ads on your site http://kinderstart.com/ [kinderstart.com] while suing them just reek of bi-polar disorder?

I thought the Reality Distortion Field only applied to Apple...

Re:Why have Google ads then? (1)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477419)

And on another note did you _see_ where the ads are about?

- Frustrated by autism?

- Overweight Children

"Mom, are you frustrated with me, do you think I'm fat?"

Just ask the police... (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18482113)

It's no worse than suing Ford to try to force them to sell you police cruisers while in the midst of a class action lawsuit alleging that said cruisers are unsafe to the point of criminal negligence.

This is funny stuff (3, Funny)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477339)

The last line in the article:

      "All options are being explored. That's all that we are going to say at this point," Yu told news agency Reuters.

I imagine those options probably include "running away" and "hope to god they don't sue us".

Baseless claims and no adequate investigation (2, Funny)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18477779)

Hey, Boies, Schiller and Flexner, did you hear that? It's the sound of the Nazgûl sharpening their swords.

kids.google.com anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18477993)

I smell a take-over in someone's future.

If I were Google, my damages would be just enough that it would become more financially prudent for KinderStart to just sell Google their IP.
Then Google could produce an uber-safe search option for over protective parents that would force all searches on a computer to a separate, sanitized, search url.

"Click here to engage 'Nanny-State' controls"

It'd be nice if that extended to the Google Desktop too. I'm sure Dad wouldn't like having Jr. discover the 'secret' porn folder.

"Permissive Licence" doesn't seem awful (0, Offtopic)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478433)

I noticed two main things in that license text:

You can't remove any copyright, patent, or atribution notices. Kind of like the dreaded BSD advertising clause, in that if someone puts "Parts written by 1337 h4xx0rz" in the output of the program, you have to leave it there. Repeat ad nauseum for every contributor that jumps on the bandwagon, and things could get... unaesthetic.

They use almost the exact same patent control system as the GPLv3. If a program contains patented code, you're granted permission to use those patents to execute it. If you sue one of the patent holders for violations of your own patent, that permission is revoked. I think this is called the "please don't eat me, IBM!" clause. Seriously, though, this needs to be pointed out every single time some Microsoft shill attacks the GPLv3. You can dislike v3, but you can't really call it anti-business when the world's largest software vendor implemented parts of it in their own license.

pwned (1)

75th Trombone (581309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481165)

by multiple tabs?

Re:pwned (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18481443)

Pretty much, yeah.

Sue these kid fuckers into fucking oblivion! (0, Offtopic)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18478483)

We should slaughter these parental groups like the Jedi.

Searching for KinderStart web .... .oh there it is (-1, Redundant)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18479155)

I couldn't easily find the KinderStart web site via Google search results [google.ca] funny enough; however if you type kinderstart.com into your address bar you'll get there. Really hard to find on Google for some weird reason.

I simply don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18480865)


... accused them of manipulating search results for political and religious reasons and skewing results in favor of companies that compensate Google financially


Under what theory of criminal or civil law can these accusations be made?

I fully expect Google to skew their search results in favor of companies that pay them to do so.

As long as Google does not represent otherwise, how can this possibly put Google in legal jeopardy? Can somebody cite a specific criminal statute or contractual agreement that Google would violate by charging money for placement?

Bitter Irony (1)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18480955)

"If we can't sue them and get the money all at once, we'll use google adsense and get it back 10 cents at a time!"

KinderStart, Powered by Slashdot! (1)

pingveno (708857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18484517)

Ironically, KinderStart's "news" section, KinderToday [kinderstart.com] , has a design patterned after Slashdot, powered by Zope, and set up by a noobie [kinderstart.com] .

insert attorney joke here (1)

vague_ascetic (755456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18484709)

This was a decision on the filed amended claims from a lawsuit decided last July in Google's favor. I'm rather impressed with the KinderStart attorney, Gregory Yu, but it takes two citations to show it. First, an Out-Law dot com article, after describing how the judge pummelled the lawsuit for the second time, decided to pound a bit upon Mr. Yu too:

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California threw the case out, saying that KinderStart had been given a second chance to make its case and had still failed.

"The Court concluded in its July 13th Order that KinderStart had failed to allege facts sufficient to support each of the four elements of an attempted monopolization claim," said the judge. "The Court also noted that KinderStart had not sufficiently described the markets relevant to its claim. The SAC [second amended complaint] suffers from essentially the same defects."

[. . .]

KinderStart lawyer Gregory Yu of law firm Global Law Group was reprimanded by the judge for his unsupported claims that other companies had suffered unfair treatment at the hands of Google. "The Court concludes that the allegation that Google sells priority placement in its results should not have been made based upon the limited information identified by Yu," said Fogel. "As presented to the Court on this motion, Yu's purported evidence is either double hearsay or hearsay speculation as to the 'mysterious' causes of improvement in a website's position in Google's search results. The Court concludes that the allegations are sanctionable under Rule 11 because they are factually baseless and because Yu failed to perform an adequate investigation before filing them."

"It is true that Yu spoke with a number of people who believe that Google engages in religious or political discrimination, but a reasonable, competent investigation requires more than suspicions or belief. Yu had a professional responsibility to refrain from filing such allegations if he did not have appropriate supporting evidence," said Fogel.

Fogel said that he would take action against Yu. "Yu should have removed the allegations of sold search rankings and discrimination from the second amended complaint, and Google is entitled to reasonable compensation for having to defend against these claims," he said.

"Google search rank claim thrown out for second time [out-law.com] ", Out-Law dot com, March 23, 2007

Now return if you will to the time after a judgment had been entered last July, 2006 in Google's favor, but with a leave to amend, and we find Yu out pitching for potential clients:

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel for the Northern District in San Jose dismissed all nine claims, saying that KinderStart's claims were insufficient or failed to allege facts or conduct to support that the claims or were too vague.

Fogel specifically dismissed some of the claims against Google "with leave to amend," meaning that KinderStart can modify and refile the complaint.

[. . .]

...KinderStart attorney Gregory Yu also claimed victory, noting that the judge left the door open by allowing KinderStart to refile the claims. He said he plans to file an amended complaint before the next court date, which is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Yu also said he was encouraged by the judge's discussion pertaining to the defamation claim, and he urged other Web site publishers to contact him...

"The decision suggests that, if properly alleged, Google may be defaming a whole class of Web sites sacked with a '0' PageRank," he wrote in a statement. "If plaintiffs show Google manually tampered with even a single Web site's PageRank, Google's entire claim of 'objectivity' of search results and rankings could collapse."

Elinor Mills,"Judge dismisses suit over Google ranking, CNET News dot com, July 13, 2006

Admittedly, I'm no attorney, but it seems transparent to me that if your lawsuit was shutout 0-9 in the opener, but you were given a chance to amend and refile, it's a pretty good idea to refile that amended complaint using arguments substantially different from the first filing, but maybe that's just me.

K*** Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18485119)

Ferrero SpA (Italy) holds the international trademark "Kinder". Of course trademarking a common German word is an absurdity in itself, but for this one time I really wish that these linkspammers awoke a sleeping giant with their silly lawsuit, and will soon themselves be sued into oblivion.
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