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).

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Comments on “Japan Decides That Maybe It Should Make Search Engines Legal”

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zeromus says:

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.

Dosquatch says:

Re: 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?

T Man (user link) says:

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”

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