Japan Decides That Maybe It Should Make Search Engines Legal

from the not-a-bad-idea dept

There have been some questions lately about whether or not search engines today are actually legal. Some have expressed the opinion (as ridiculous as it may sound to some of us) that a search engine is effectively violating the copyright of every website it indexes. It seems dumb, but there are still some (such as a bunch of newspapers in Belgium) who feel otherwise. In the US, at least, Google has a pretty good fair use defense. However, it appears that under Japanese law, search engines technically are big time copyright infringers -- though, it doesn't seem like anyone has filed a lawsuit over this. Basically, as written, the law states that the search engine needs to first get permission from a copyright holder before indexing their site. Luckily, some in the Japanese government figured out that it's probably for the best if they amend the laws to allow search engines that can search without obtaining permission from every site. Nice to see some copyright laws changing in the proper direction (and doing so without ridiculous lawsuits first).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Alex, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    It's good that they are amending their law for the better, but I hope that when they do they take the time to make robots.txt legally enforceable

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 2:24pm

    this ones easy

    Publication is implied permission.
    For everything else there's robots.txt
    or a goatse redirect

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Oh Right Thanks!, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 3:38pm

    Great, thanks to YOU tomorrows headlines will read 'Large Japanese Company sues Google for Copyright Infringement'. Way to go slick!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 3:52pm

    but they have permission

    If the site wants to deny permission, they can put up a robots.txt file that says so.

    If they don't, they're effectively giving the search engine permission to index it.

    Why is it that none of the courts have heard about robots.txt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    zeromus, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:04pm

    Why should a webmaster have to have heard of robots.txt in order to keep his website secure from malicious snooping infringers making money from a cheap rehashing of his content? Hey I can steal your purse unless you flash me the sign. You know, the one that goes like this: //\/|!!/ with your fingers. Generally followed by an enthusiastic hoo-wah! What are you talking about, you never heard of it? Everyone knows about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:17pm

    Re: zeromus

    If you carry a purse in public can you stop people from looking at it? That's a closer analogy than stealing it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: zeromus

    How about remotely scanning it with zany technology and listing the detailed contents, including photos of personal items, in a public website.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:28pm

    zeromus

    It was on a public website in the first place!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Mr Obvious, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    Google Card Catalogue

    Every card card catalogue in every library in the world is effectively a rudimentary manual search engine for all works in the library

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Dosquatch, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Re:

    Why should a webmaster have to have heard of robots.txt in order to [...]

    A webmaster not versed in the standard practices of his trade should be fired and replaced with one who is so versed.

    How about remotely scanning it with zany technology and listing the detailed contents, including photos of personal items, in a public website.

    A website, unless gated by user accounts and passwords, is an inherently public vehicle. A webmaster who does not understand this (blah, blah, see above).

    malicious snooping infringers making money from a cheap rehashing of his content?

    "Malice" indicates damage. Viewing a page as posted is using it for its intended purpose, not vandalism, not damage. And you mean "redirection to", not "rehashing of". Pointing viewers to your webpage, which presumably you want to be viewed, is a Good Thing. A webmaster who does not understand this... oh, nevermind.

    Basically, if you take your clothes off on a street corner, you have no expectation of privacy. If you have something you do not wish to be publicly viewed, I'd suggest the web is probably not the best place to put it. All clear?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 5:57pm

    ..

    ROFL, search engines violating copyrights of every site they index? Can we PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, FUCKING --> PLLLEEEEAAAASSEEE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    T Man, Jan 19th, 2007 @ 8:23pm

    Japanese Search Engine Law is Perfect -- For the M

    It's amazing how one country can be so advanced in some areas (e.g. producing high tech gadgets and gizmos) and yet so backward in others, such as in the case of this silly law Japan currently has on its books. The thinking that produced such a law in the first place would be right at home in the Meiji Era (although come to think of it, the Emperor Meiji was a fairly progressive thinker, considering his role and the times in which he lived, so maybe he would have been a big fan and power user of search engines, although the average samurai probably would not have been).

    T Man
    "Private Jets Are Not Just For the Rich and Famous"
    http://www.privatejetsalesandrental.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2007 @ 5:51pm

    Re:

    Technically, it should be illegal to index any site unless it is specified in the robots.txt file in advance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Jamaal Johnson, Jan 21st, 2007 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I agree that it should technically be illegal. Permission should be specifically granted before copy is indexed on another site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Jan 29th, 2007 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why? it is a simple oup-out system. If you want it to be opt in, ban spiders from yuor entire site, and then, if you like, allow them to visit certaimn pages. I do not know what over-rides what, but the principle is there. Remember there is noindex as well, which could be put in the standard page templte.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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