Google And Microsoft Sued For Linking, Indirectly, To Infringing Music

from the good-luck dept

Well, people have asked in the past how Google and Microsoft’s search engines are really all that different from some of the file sharing search engines, and now we’ve finally got a lawsuit to at least explore some of that. It’s not a major label, but a small indie blues label called Blues Destiny is suing Google and Microsoft along with RapidShare. At issue, of course, is that people are uploading Blues Destiny music to RapidShare, and searches via Google and Microsoft can find them. As Eric Goldman notes in the writeup linked above, the label isn’t particularly clear in what it’s upset about, so he believes the real issue isn’t even that Google and Microsoft link people to RapidShare, but that it finds other sites that then link to RapidShare. That seems like many degrees removed from actually infringing — and it’s difficult to even see a clear claim for “inducing” infringement. Goldman also notes that the lawsuit is complicated by Blues Destiny’s imprecision and vagueness in a series of (increasingly exasperated) takedown notices, which is coupled with Google not complying — but potentially that is due to the failure of Blue Destiny to properly state what needed to be taken down. Either way, it’s difficult to see how either Google or Microsoft is going to be found liable here, but the lawsuit is still worth watching, given the questions about where the fine line is drawn between just being a search engine and being a contributory infringer.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: blues destiny, google, microsoft, rapidshare

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Google And Microsoft Sued For Linking, Indirectly, To Infringing Music”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

While RapidShare will have the same problems as Youtube, they store the content on their servers, it’s lucky that they got lumped together with Google and Microsoft. Both of them should be able to see how settling would be a vary, vary bad idea and they’re big enough to fight hard. Rapidshare also has the same protections as Youtube, it’s all user submitted content and they do remove content if there is a complaint.

So it probably won’t turn out like Blues Destiny thinks it will.

Jay (user link) says:

Re: A blessing in disguise!

Looks to me like a label like Blues Destiney Records might have a couple of beach lawyers that don’t get paid unless they produce. You can hold your breath awhile with that…did some research on the old judge up in Pensacola, he’s 79 years old and appointed by Nixon! He might not understand the nuances of the stealing that goes on these days…

Matt (profile) says:

For Christmas, I want

there to be less lawsuits like this in the world. Santa hasn’t heard me for the last 20 years, though.

One of the ways plaintiffs’ counsel extort companies is by filing immensely vague complaints with no obvious theory or facts. Until recently, the standard in federal court (and still the standard in most state courts) is that the complaint need only state facts consistent with an actionable theory – so the fact that the complaint says little is not a problem, so long as what it does say is consistent. While the defense struggles to figure out what the @#$%@% the complaint is supposed to mean, it still has to spend money defending itself. Meanwhile, the plaintiff is getting discovery, groping around for any evidence of any wrongdoing. Whether or not it finds any, it is still cheaper to settle than to go to trial and risk a crazy verdict.

The rule against this practice does not get enforced. Consequently, we see lawyers willing to file vague or even ludicrous lawsuits.

McBeese says:

Rob banks instead

Does this mean if I use a GPS to find the nearest Chase Bank to rob, and then use the supplied turn-by-turn directions to get to the bank, that the GPS device is ‘inducing’ bank robbery?

If this metaphor isn’t applicable or comparable, someone tell me why.

Stupidity like this is what makes people want to screw these companies by any means possible.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...