Saturday, February 25, 2006

Google Breaches Porn Copyright

Internet giant Google infringed copyright rules by posting thumbnail size photos from other websites on its search results pages, a US judge said in a ruling issued yesterday. The US District Court ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2004 by the pornography firm Perfect 10, which accused Google of breaching its copyright.

Perfect 10 took issue with Google's image search function, which returns a page with tiny images, known as thumbnails, that fit the searcher's query. The function also allows searchers to view the image as it appears on the page. The judge ruled that because Google receives advertising money from offering search function, it was not entitled to the same level of free use of the images as other entities would be.

The ruling notes that because Perfect 10 sells similar size versions of its images to mobile phone users through a separate company, it stands to lose revenue if its request for a court order blocking Google's use of the thumbnails is not granted.

The judge found however, that Google did not violate Perfect 10's copyrights by linking to pages that Perfect 10 claims are using its images without permission.

The Courier Mall

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