Supreme Court Won't Hear Perfect 10's Silly Lawsuit Against Google; Good Ruling Stands

from the phew dept

Perfect 10 has basically made a business out of suing companies claiming copyright abuse. The former publisher of "adult" magazines has gone on a rampage suing tons of companies -- including all the major search engines -- claiming that pointing people to infringing results and showing thumbnails of copyrighted images is infringement itself. For an eye-opening look at Perfect 10, the best read is probably Rapidshare's countersuit from a few years ago, that goes into detail on how the company operates. So far, Perfect 10 has lost almost all of its big cases -- including those against both payment processors and search engines. To be honest, in the long run, Perfect 10 may have done a lot of good in presenting cases that highlight the clear insanity of certain interpretations of copyright law, providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.

The lawsuit against Google for showing thumbnails has bounced around for years, with the appeals court saying that showing those thumbnails is fair use -- something those freaking out about Pinterest might want to keep in mind. As it's done before, the Supreme Court has (once again) rejected one of Perfect 10's appeals, meaning that the (strong) lower court ruling stands. Yes, technically, it only applies in the 9th Circuit, but this ruling seems to be one that other courts are willing to cite and use, so hopefully the precedent is considered more widespread. While it would have been nice to have a Supreme Court ruling smacking down Perfect 10 and making such a clear fair use ruling apply across the board, for now we'll be happy with just keeping the good 9th Circuit ruling in place.

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  1. icon
    Torg (profile), 6 Mar 2012 @ 3:20pm


    I don't speak legal, so let me know if my interpretation's off, but after a bit of googling, I'm guessing that that means that the court ruling determined that X being successful with Y's stuff doesn't necessarily mean that Y was harmed, and so X can't be made to stop without other additional reasons. If that's right, it might not directly relate to fair use, but it does reduce the number of things that companies can be sued over, which is close enough. How wrong am I here?

    What does an ongoing trial have to do with its current track record? If a large majority of the decided cases went against Perfect 10, then the statement is accurate. That's what "so far" means.

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