Google Wins Lawsuit In France Over Censoring Autocomplete On File Sharing Terms… But Still Does It Anyway

from the why? dept

We’re still quite confused about Google’s recent decision (under pressure from the US government) to censor its autocomplete suggestions for certain terms that might be related to infringement. But the decision to do so seems even odder now, as we find out that, all this time, Google’s been fighting a lawsuit in France that’s trying to force the company to do the same thing. Apparently, the French anti-piracy organization SNEP sued about autocomplete, saying that showing suggestions that include things like “torrent,” “RapidShare,” and “Megaupload” were tantamount to encouraging infringement. Thankfully, both the lower court and now an appeals court have ruled that Google need not censor autocomplete search entries… But it seems like the victory is somewhat meaningless, in that Google has decided to censor itself anyway.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Google Wins Lawsuit In France Over Censoring Autocomplete On File Sharing Terms… But Still Does It Anyway”

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Ralph-J (profile) says:

Obligations create risk

What would happen if they had not fought the lawsuit and accepted the obligation to censor search suggestions the way the entertainment industry demands?

1. They would have set themselves up for fines and more lawsuits if any violations were found in the future.
2. They would have had to invest more resources into implementing and maintaining the system demanded by SNEP. Their own voluntary implementation is probably much simpler and cheaper in detail and still prevents future lawsuits.

AJBarnes says:

Next up...

I completely agree. When I type in IDIOT, it autocompletes CONGRESSMAN. When I type in MORON, it autocompletes SENATOR. When I type in MONEY WHORE, it … well, do it yourself and see what you get. It’s embarassing to do this to our venerable officials. So, GOOGLE… turn off that autocomplete, or at least make it lie so we can move closer to 1984 than we are now.

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