Yesterday we wrote about a judge's injunction against Google -- which we thought was odd, given that Google didn't appear to actually be doing anything illegal. They were simply profiting off of others doing something illegal -- and therefore, the focus should have been on the others. Over at the EFF, Fred von Lohmann has gone through the decision in more details and pulled out a number of good points that were not covered by most of the press coverage. Included in the decision was the fact that thumbnails, by themselves, are not infringing -- and that Google is not responsible for "creating an audience." Both are reasonable findings, consistent with previous rulings. The court also knocked off the completely out of left field assertion that simply visiting a website that has infringing material makes the visitor an infringer. All that said, there's still an injunction coming down -- and the reasoning behind that seems problematic, especially given all of the points above. The fact that some of the pages with these photos also contain AdSense seems completely unrelated to the search aspect. Also, it seems unfair to blame the advertising network for the content on certain pages. That's like saying the ad firm that places a magazine ad should be liable for a defamation charge if an ad it places appears in a newspaper across from a defamatory article.
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