Google Misreads Complaint From MLB, Blocks Wrong Site

from the the-new-new-google? dept

Well, this is unfortunate. Google's been getting more and more pressure from the US government to censor websites based on accusations (not convictions) of copyright infringement, and it appears that Google is caving more and more to such requests, rather than standing up for user rights and the basics of how copyright works. It did that bizarre and really poorly thought out blocking of certain autocomplete words. Then there was the absolutely awful copyright school that perpetuated certain copyright myths and made "fair use" sound like the negative side effects you might get when you take some prescription medicine. On top of that it got a lot of attention for deleting Grooveshark's app from the Android Marketplace, but further research shows that it's been dumping a bunch of music apps.

The latest, though, is particularly egregious. Apparently, it entirely removed Rojadirecta.es from its directory based on a DMCA complaint from Major League Baseball, but it appears to have completely misread the complaint.

First of all, you may recognize the name Rojadirecta. It's the site that was found to be totally legal (twice) in Spain, but still had its .com domain seized by Homeland Security. It already had the .es domain and now that's become it's main site. Now, you could potentially see someone issuing a DMCA takedown over that site, but the notice in question was not actually a DMCA takedown notice at all, but a notice of a violation of AdSense. If that's the case, then you could see it lead to a cancellation of that AdSense program, but not a block from the index.

Making matters even worse, MLB's complaint is wrong. The AdSense in question was not even on Rojadirecta's site. Rojadirecta is a linking site, and the complaint was actually about ads on a site Rojadirecta linked to. And yet, because of this Google blocked the Rojadirecta site. At a time when governments around the globe are also getting upset with Google for what they deem to be arbitrary listing decisions (and yes, I agree that this political argument is silly), you would think that Google would be more careful than to completely dump a site based on a questionable AdSense policy violation claim.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 3:07am

    Oh well. Looks like someone not only dropped the idiot ball, but then went on to play a game of Idiocracy.

    Nice going, Goog.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    IndustrialPope, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 3:14am

    "better safe than sorry" is a policy that has ruined more than one thing in the past. Google adopting it is not a good development.

     

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

  3.  
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    Christopher (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 3:22am

    Re:

    Well, they don't really have much choice, considering that Congress and the legislatures in other countries keep on telling them "PLAY IT SAFE OR YOU WILL BE SORRY!"

    I cannot really blame them for doing things like this, though I am disappointed when they do them.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    The issue is they just had the entire entertainment industry in meetings in Congress where it devolved into why can't Google fix everything.

    Google weighed in on the ISOHunt case, not to protect search engines, but to make sure the ruling was so narrow they could dodge getting ensnared.

    Google sells AdSense and some less than "reputable" websites make a few bucks, and you have the corps complaining to the media how Google is paying pirates!

    Google still has that spiffy "investigation" into if the WiFi gathering was "hacking". They are trying to save their own asses.

    Google does not have that many friends - Music Lockers, Fiber to the home, YouTube. RIAA, ISPS, MPAA... those are some powerful players, who have paid enough to their pocket Congress critters to try and get laws to outlaw Google.

    Rather than trying to make a stand, they are buckling in "small" areas as they try to get their PR machine up and running and get their own set of Congress critter trading cards to use against the other kids.

    In the mean time the public looses as innovation slows down, and has the undue burdens of but thats not how we did it 50 years ago we can't do it that way!

    Google makes decisions that look like missteps, but put yourself in Googles shoes. Your facing multiple "investigations" "meetings" "hearings"... if you do something this dumb you avoid 1 more player at the table calling for your blood. If your still holding onto "Don't be evil" as a mantra, I hate to break it to you - The Easter Bunny isn't real either.

    I think what they did was stupid, honoring a completely invalid request creates something the next moron can point to to get their way. But I can understand why they did it trying to protect themselves. As the overused line goes - Don't hate the player, hate the game.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:19am

    TD: where all attempts at stopping piracy are bad.

    It's almost as if this blog owner's business and flaky theories are based on piracy continuing like it did last decade...

    oh wait, they are.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:21am

    oops

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    Re:

    If you're not part of the solution, you are the problem - amirite?

     

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

  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re:

    And knowing is half the battle.

     

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

  9.  
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    TechnoMage (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...GI JOE

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Copyright Trolls ...

    ... where all attempts to point out the mistakes of the copyright maximalists are bad.

    Itís almost as if some readersí business and flaky theories are based on copyright continuing like it did last century ...

    oh wait, they are.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    anymouse (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re:

    Not exactly... If you're not part of the solution, there's money to be made in prolonging the problem.... OR more realisticly:

    Even if you are the solution, there's money to be made in prolonging the problem. (quote is from a demotivational poster about consultants if I remember correctly, but applies to many industries)

    Which is one of the biggest problems with the world today, there is no long term gain/profit/incentive to actually solve problems, only to provide short term 'remedies' or 'treatments' that make things seem better for a short time at a high cost, until the next remedy can be created and marketed.

     

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

  12.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    The only flakes I see are 99s. I think they belong to you.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Greg G (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    Your comment: Where all attempts at telling the truth fail... miserably.

    It's almost as if this commenter's life and flaky theories are based on continually bashing TD, just like you've done the past few years...

    oh wait, they are.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Miff (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    Step 1: Find a site hosting copyrighted material you can reasonably claim to own.

    Step 2: Find links to that material on Bing and Yahoo results.

    Step 3: Post links to those links on some free blog somewhere so that they'll show up in the Google index.

    Step 4: Use Google to find the Yahoo and Bing links, then send DMCA takedown.

    Step 5: Some shortsighted Google lawyer blocks Yahoo and Bing.

    Step 6: Profit?

     

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

  15.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    Google does not have that many friends - Music Lockers, Fiber to the home, YouTube....

    Although, I agree with the majority of your comment - I would like to point out that YouTube is probably a friend of Google since Google owns them.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    This hurts google too.

    Blocking things from their index just makes their index less valuable.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    That Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    My poorly made point was they are working on music lockers, fiber to the home, youtube which in turn created the enemies in the RIAA, ISPS, MPAA.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    -Silicon Valley Is Gonna Burn-, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

    Would Someone Please Get Mike Masnick A Tissue?

    Mike, How long did you think your little copyleft wet-dream was going to last?

    Game Over

    -Silicon Valley Is Gonna Burn-

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    The running Google have had success go to their heads and started to believe the computer-illiterates' misconception that web search = Google. This was probably inevitable.

    In the next 5-10 years, Google will become known as the "politically correct web search," while people who actually want impartial results will use Something Entirely Different.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Morris Rosenthal, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Dropped Adsense over copyright infringements

    I used Adsense on my book publishing site for six years and advised other publishers to try it as well. But after spending the last month fighting duplicate content problems, I've concluded that Adsense is resposible for both of them and pulled out. Just posted on my blog:

    Adsense and Blogger: A Business Model for Infringement

    Morris Rosenthal
    Foner Books

     

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


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