German Court Says Google Image Search Doesn't Infringe On Copyrights

from the well,-phew dept

Over in Germany, a court has ruled that Google does not infringe on the copyright for images when it displays thumbnails of those images in its image search. This is, obviously, quite a good ruling. If it had gone the other way, it would have effectively killed Google's image search. While there are some similarities to the court rulings against Perfect 10 (who has sued various search engines for displaying thumbnails) in the US, there is one major difference. With Perfect 10, the complaints were mainly about search engines indexing images copied/scanned by others. In this German case, the artist was upset that Google showed images that she, herself, put on the website. It seems that this particular point made a strong impression on the judge, who noted that "The plaintiff made the content of her site available without using technical tools to block search engines from finding and displaying her works," and because of that, Google "was allowed to interpret the plaintiff's behavior as agreeing to use her works in image searches." Always nice to see a reasonable ruling.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    SomeGuy, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    Once again supporting my long upheld thesis that Germans are generally fairly sane about IP law.

     

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

  2.  
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    ElijahBlue (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Are the people who file these lawsuits high on crack? Thank goodness it sounds as if there was a tech-savvy judge, or at least one who wasn't a total idiot, as he made a rational and well-explained decision.

     

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

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    I don't think websites should have to opt out. They should have to opt in.

     

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

  4.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Re:

    Yes we are :)

     

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

  5.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re:

    The internet is, and always has been a large open field to display what you want to the public. You opt out in one of three ways, your own network (vpn, hardwired, etc), by not posting what you dont want displayed, or requiring a password to view your content. What your opt in would require would be for the 99% of people who want everyone else to see their stuff to change their websites.

    You are so obviously one of these keep everyone safe types ... just a guess are you from the US and christian?

     

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

  6.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re:

    While I generally agree with the sentiment of the post, could we perhaps leave religious stereotypes out of it?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re:

    I don't think you have any idea what you're suggesting.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re:

    You think search engines should have more rights than the content owners? You make no sense.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What rights are the content owners losing? Don't want it seen? DON'T POST IT! How simple is that? I mean, seriously. Don't want it indexed? Your IT guys should put in robot.txt. Just about the most basic damned thing.

     

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

  10.  
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    Adah Taylor, Apr 30th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Well... Perfect 10 is blaming Google without any solid reason. As there are some technical tweakings which can block Google Crawlers to crawl the content. If Perfect 10 would have done it, its images would not have been crawled..

    Regards
    Adah Taylor
    http://www.askpcexperts.com

     

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

  11.  
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    Christopher Weigel (profile), Apr 30th, 2010 @ 11:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I do. That's sorta the POINT.

    Search engines are helpful to customers, draconian assholes are not.

     

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

  12.  
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    Adam, May 1st, 2010 @ 6:13am

    People Need To Learn How To Host A Website Properly

    This whack job that filed the law suit should have learned to properly use the robots.txt file or added some meta tags if she didn't want her stuff to be indexed. Of course what sane person would want to make a website that couldn't be found by anyone else.

     

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

  13.  
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    Richard (profile), May 1st, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re:

    I don't think websites should have to opt out. They should have to opt in.

    They opt in by being on the web....

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2010 @ 7:43am

    I'm going to start a business and everyone will be automatically opted in. If you want out then you will have to file a request with my business. Something tells me you wouldn't like that very well.

     

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

  15.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), May 1st, 2010 @ 9:22am

    Re:

    It's called robots.txt. noindex nofollow directives. Read up on markup.

    A web site, on the other hand, is kinda like holding a yard sale on the front lawn. It's assumed that you kinda want people to see it and it's content.

    If she doesn't, why in heaven's name, did she put up the site in the first place?!

    Of course, it's a search engine's job to collect and index data do that people can find her web site, right?

     

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

  16.  
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    btrussell (profile), May 1st, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    You sound similar to the **AA.


    But how is this any different than how it is for most business'?


    Open a store, everyone is allowed in.

     

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

  17.  
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    NixleRep (profile), May 1st, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    I'm into this idea of opting in. Google's web crawl could be considered a form of spam/theft if not given permission by the website being crawled.

     

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

  18.  
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    NixleRep (profile), May 1st, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    I'm into this idea of opting in. Google's web crawl could be considered a form of spam/theft if not given permission by the website being crawled.

    Although this would effectively be the end of search altogether, which would destroy the internet market as a whole. So maybe this is a good ruling...

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    I'm going to make a law and everyone will be automatically opted in. And that law is: copyright.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2010 @ 4:45pm

    Re:

    I don't know if I would like that "very well" because...I have no idea what the business is.

    As for filing a request with your business, I was unaware that spending 15 seconds setting up a Robots.txt file is difficult.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2010 @ 12:44am

    Cable company Ziggo in court over Pirate Bay

    Cable company Ziggo faces court action after refusing to block film and music sharing website The Pirate Bay, anti-piracy lobby group Stichting Brein said on Saturday.

    Ziggo has told Brein it has no intention of stopping The Pirate Bay and that the foundation has no legal basis to make such a request.

    'We are simply a channel,' said a spokesman in the NRC. 'We give people access to the internet and support an open internet.'

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/05/cable_company_ziggo_in_court_o.php

     

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

  22.  
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    Sneeje (profile), May 3rd, 2010 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    That would effectively kill search engines as a useful tool common to everyone. End-consumers would end up having to use multiple search engines to try and find content and still not be certain they completed a comprehensive search.

    Why is robots.txt not enough?

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    Of course you would have to opt out. The standard setting on the internet is "Open to all, come on in!" Then you have to do things like put in scripts that tell search engines to leave your stuff alone and a slew of other methods to hide your information.

     

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


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