by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 24th 2008 5:37am
There are some out there who have suggested that search engines such as Google and Yahoo are basically just massive copyright violators, because they scan, index and keep an archive of websites. That copied archive (usually called a cache) is, according to these commenters, an unauthorized copy. Now a court has basically destroyed that argument, noting that putting content online is giving an implicit license for search engines to index and copy. The lawsuit also claimed that individuals who visited the cached version were also infringers -- but the court also rejected that argument, claiming that the implied license extends to those users. The only part of the case that seems to be moving forward is whether or not this implicit license was broken after the lawsuit started and search engines still didn't take down the content. The idea there was that any explicit notification by the content holder might override the implicit license -- and thus search engines should have taken down the content as soon as the lawsuit started (thus signaling an explicit revoke of the license). Of course, the whole thing seems pretty silly. If the guy didn't want his content indexed, he should learn what a robots.txt file is for.
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