Google Censors Scientology Critic

from the search-engine-censorship? dept

Soylent writes "Daily Rotten has a story about how Google is censoring the Internet's leading critic of the Church of Scientology, Operation Clambake. The site has been completely removed from the search engine and from the Google Directory, which uses data from the Open Directory Project, DMOZ."

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  • identicon
    Robert Loch, 21 Mar 2002 @ 8:00am

    DMCA

    It is good to see the law in action 'We removed certain specific URLs in response to a notification submitted by the Religious Technology Center and Bridge Publications under section 512(c)(3) of the the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). Had we not removed these URLs, we would be subject to a claim for copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URLs included in that notification are attached to this email.'

    I thought that Google had integrity. They claim that they will not remove links, but a soon as anyone puts a little pressure on them they cave. Does this statement mean nothing?

    'Google views the quality of its search results as an extremely important priority. Since Google is committed to providing thorough and unbiased search results for our users, we cannot participate in the practice of censoring information on the world wide web.'

    It appears that all you have to do to have something censored is threaten a law suit. Don't worry about whether it has any merit; Google won't fight.

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 21 Mar 2002 @ 8:42am

      Re: DMCA

      Actually, the DMCA is pretty clear on this. If Google didn't remove it, they almost certainly would have been facing a ridiculously long and expensive lawsuit.

      Yes, it's a TERRIBLE law, but legally, this was what Google was required to do. We've spoken about this before. I'm actually impressed with the letter Google wrote explaining this to the site. This shouldn't be Google's fight. It should be Xenu.net's.

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

      • identicon
        Mark Fox, 21 Mar 2002 @ 9:15am

        Re: DMCA

        Mike stated "If Google didn't remove it, they almost certainly would have been facing a ridiculously long and expensive lawsuit.
        "

        Well that's just the price of being the leading search engine. If people start to think that Google is just providing links what other people want them to, then they will not use Google anymore.

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

        • icon
          Mike (profile), 21 Mar 2002 @ 9:32am

          Re: DMCA

          Actually... that's not true. That's not the price of being a search engine, as far as I can tell. Google has always removed links to copyrighted material (such as archive material) at the request of the copyright holders.

          In this case THE LAW IS CLEAR. Google will lose the case because they are breaking the law.

          Again, this isn't Google's fight. While I agree that it would be nice to see someone challenge the DMCA on this particular point, I don't think Google has any obligation to break the law.

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

  • identicon
    The Gonzo, 21 Mar 2002 @ 1:34pm

    Why The DMCA

    As I mentioned the other day, this is why The DMCA sucks and should be repealed.

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

  • icon
    Mike (profile), 21 Mar 2002 @ 10:47pm

    Google changes their mind

    With every damn blog in the world talking up this story, Google has changed their mind and put the sites back up in the search. Also, amusingly, if you go to Google and do a search for scientology you now get a whole bunch of those text ads pointing to the protesting site.

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


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