Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Did Norway Just Outlaw Google?

from the seems-like-it... dept

While no one will explain it this way, it certainly sounds like Norway just outlawed Google. What they actually did was fine a student who created a website that provided links to mp3 files that were hosted out on the web. The guy didn't host any of the music himself. He didn't even post the links himself, but let others submit links to the site. Basically, it was a directory/search engine for mp3 files. Creating a search engine that points to something illegal shouldn't be illegal by itself. If any crime is being committed, it's being committed by those who are hosting unauthorized files. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to use Google to find plenty of links to unauthorized mp3s, and it would seem that, following this ruling, Google would be liable for all of those links. The response, of course, is that this site was created solely for the purpose of finding mp3s. However, how hard is it to create a search query on Google that does the same thing, and then that page generated by Google has the same criteria?

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  • identicon
    Mark Murphy, 28 Jan 2005 @ 11:23am

    No Subject Given

    It added that the case was decided based on the responsibility for abetting an illegal act, and that Bruvik's actions were premeditated.

    A purely automated spider, like Google, would probably not be considered premeditated.

    That being said, it's a curious ruling.

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

  • identicon
    John Dowdell, 28 Jan 2005 @ 3:15pm

    No Subject Given

    "Aiding and abetting" has a long history. A fence could reasonably say "Well, *I* didn't steal it, so I must be innocent!"

    "Creating a search engine that points to something illegal shouldn't be illegal by itself." If you change the emphasis from "illegal thing" to "subverting a contract offered by a creator" -- from noun to verb -- then the landscape becomes a little clearer.

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

  • identicon
    nonuser, 28 Jan 2005 @ 4:46pm

    that headline probably should've been

    "Norwegian court wants to throw Sergio Brin in jail"

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


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