Google & Microsoft Sued For Copyright InfringementAdded: Sunday, December 13th, 2009
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:File Sharing, Anti Piracy, p2p, Torrent, Peer To Peer, Torrent Index, Download, Microsoft, BitTorrent, Google, Search Engine, .torrent, utorrent, bitcomet, MPAA, torrent site, extratorrent.com, RIAA, record industry, copyright infringement, anti-piracy
For many years now those within the peer to peer file sharing world, especially those sites which are built upon the foundation of the BitTorrent Protocol as torrent search indexers, have all claimed they do nothing more than major corporate search engines such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google do. The big argument has been as to why torrent sites are accused of infringement when all they do is point users in the right direction, a search engine of torrents, just like the major internet search engines do. Now the bias towards just torrent sites is no more, as Microsoft and Google both are being sued by a record label.
When you use a search engine, it's built upon an index of certain tags or words that are used on various places throughout the web. A software program that searches a database and gathers and reports information that contains or is related to specified terms, to be more specific on the definition. The search engines themselves do not host any material whether it be copyrighted or free of any protections. All it does, is by crawling the web, building a database, pointing users in the right direction, depending on what they, the users themselves, are looking for.
So basically the search engine cannot be held responsible for the results it provides, it just allows you to find whats already out there on the web, posted by other users. Does that sound correct? Sure it does. For example, if I went to Google, and typed in New Movie 2009 DvD Rip, and Google gives me multiple results, which are all copyrighted material, would Google be able to be held accountable? Well of course someone could claim that they allowed you to find it, but in actuality, it's not Google's fault that someone put the copyrighted material on the web, it's just showing you where it's at, you are the one looking for it, and someone else posted it on the various result sites that Google displays.
The same goes with a torrent index site, such as The Pirate Bay, Mininova, or Extra Torrent. Yet they actually have faced various lawsuits, and in some cases, the courts have stated that they should monitor the content on their site. The thing is, none of the copyrighted content is actually on their sites. The actual uploader, or seeders, have the files on their own computers, the site itself, only allows you to find a .torrent file, which in itself contains no copyrighted material.
One of the biggest downfalls of the current system and the court battles against file sharing, specifically the BitTorrent Protocol, is that the courts of the world whether due to ignorance of how the protocol works or not, do not understand the process that is involved with the protocol. They automatically assume that the site itself is hosting illegal files, or attempts to become an "accomplice" or "contributor" to the sharing of copyrighted material, and they automatically develop a biased opinion, which they then pass on to their ultimate decision against the torrent sites.
For some reason though, the search engines, which are considered "legal", rarely if ever face any criminal or civil court proceedings, and they do the exact same thing that a torrent search index does, link you to material which others have uploaded, whether it be protected by copyrights or not.
Until now, where a major record label has taken up a battle against Google and Microsoft for their search engines. The label, Blues Destiny Records, has claimed that Rapidshare allows users to download "illegal" copies of copyright-protected music, and that Google and Microsoft both profit from it by allowing links to the files to appear on the results of their search engines.
Somewhat a valid point, since The Pirate Bay and Mininova both were accused of "profiting" from the copyrighted material which they provided results for of searches. Which isn't exactly true, they profited from ad revenue, based on the number of hits their sites received, and they did not actually host any copyrighted material what so ever, they merely allowed the results of a search query to show.
Blues Destiny Records, however, feels that Google and Microsoft are making money from the process, which in effect causes them to lose money. The lawsuit itself reads as follows:
Blues Destiny Records wrote:
Defendants facilitated, materially contributed to, and caused infringement of Plaintiff’s copyrighted Recordings for Defendant’s financial benefit by knowingly and systematically directing Internet users, via search results generated by their respective search engines, to the illegal and infringing copies of Plaintiff’s Recordings on Rapidshare.com and similar websites, without authorization from Plaintiff.
Blues Destiny Records stated they sent multiple Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices to both Google and Microsoft asking them to remove, block, and filter links to any of their copyrighted and protected material, yet both companies failed to do so. So they state that by actually allowing the links to appear in their index without omitting them from the results that they "thus intentionally contribute a gateway for Internet users to directly infringe" upon the potential profits that could be gained from their materials.
The seemingly bi-curious part of the debate that resulted in a lawsuit, is the fact that neither Google nor Microsoft actually link directly to any copyrighted material, but they link to Rapidshare. Rapidshare, unlike a torrent site, actually allows a user to upload the full copyrighted material to their site, and then allows others to download it from them. Where as in a torrent protocol, one does not download anything, protected or not, from the torrent site, but rather from the peer, whom is seeding it on their own PC. So Rapidshare is actually hosting the file, regardless if it's unintentional. They do however have the user's IP address whom originally uploaded the copyrighted material.
Seems Blue Dynasty Records are actually pointing their crosshairs at the wrong bullseye, and whether or not they realize it, it's doubtful the courts will see any difference. This happens often, as the courts do not actually understand how it all works, partially due to the lack of knowledge from older judges and magistrates about how technology actually works, and partially because in a court of law, even if you're not guilty, the attorneys whom can be the most persuasive will end up as the victors. That's just how courtrooms work. (Thus many wrongfully convicted persons, etc.)
As much as I believe the torrent sites have been wronged in the past by these courts, and that other major search engines are equally as guilty of doing what torrent sites are found guilty of, I still believe that Google and Microsoft are not to blame here. Again I would like to see them persecuted just to prove a point, but at the same time, that is not justice. Justice would be bringing those responsible for uploading or downloading the material themselves to court. That probably isn't going to happen though.
Until then, we'll have to wait and see what the courts decide. As soon as we hear a result, or update on this case, we'll keep you informed, as always.
December 13th, 2009
Posted by: Date:
Sunday, December 13th, 2009
|Pfft good luck suing a search engine, thats what there made for to connect us to other sites that you type in associated with those words.|
|great article Obs... and yes good luck with that.|
|wow will the record biz ever give up they are fighting a losing battle. and are they so stupid not to realize that you shut one site down and 50 replace it lol|
|posted by (2009-12-13 07:13:38)|
|Send, Lawyers, Guns and Money. The shit has hit the fan.(Who sang that)? Now they're after the big boys. We're not in Kansas any more Dorothy. Hey has anyone bought any new music lately? I wonder why. There isn't anything good, but that's just my opinion. One last thing madd_skills, why are your avatars so violent? Peace out.|
|posted by (2009-12-13 08:18:41)|
|Think the websites are people, the search engines are border checkpoints...|
!! DO WE HAVE TO BLAME THE BORDER POLICE FOR LETTING IN DRUG OR DRUGDEALERS !!
think about it this practical way, it then become totaly clear = Pure ADBSURDITY
|Google and Microsnatch can teach 'em a lesson...|
Don't index the Blues Destiny Records site, or anything relating to their stuff. Simple algorithmic fix so that NOBODY can find 'em.
When they whine about that, the Big Boys can say, "Well, you're stuff IS copyrighted, and we can't have ppl finding copyrighted stuff now, can we?"
|posted by (2009-12-13 09:34:25)|
|Thnx OBS, this is just as bad as Doing it to Torrent Trackers, next thing you know they will Start suing individuals for 'Word-of-mouth' Sales... because they referenced there products...|
when will they learn, there only hurting them selves.
|posted by (2009-12-13 12:01:25)|
|Yes u r right OBS. The files in the torrent sites r not actually copyrighted but they come from the users which r actually owing them or downloaded from different sites.|
but I have one question in my mind these torrent sites provide platform for the users to download contents they wanted free of money but how these torrent sites get their profit?
|posted by (2009-12-13 12:21:42)|
|yeah that artical made my day and made sure christmas even better itme to taste there own medecin :P|
|posted by (2009-12-13 13:10:07)|
|Ahhh that was better then the morning paper! Thanks Obs for yet another good article. I just checked out Blue Destiny's site and honestly I can see why they are doing this. Christmas just seems to get better by the day! Let the games begin!|
|posted by (2009-12-13 13:13:00)|
|Keep the fight going, it's about freedom.........OUR freedom|
|Very informative OBS.|
|nice read OBS like you said, "Wait and See"|
|THX FOR INFO OBS . LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS|
|What's with all these suing nowadays? lol And for what purpose do they opt to sue a Search Engine? That's just plain s2pid. @_@|
Good read OBS. :)
|Justice would be bringing those responsible for uploading or downloading the material themselves to court. That probably isn't going to happen though.|
|posted by (2009-12-13 23:36:24)|
|To Obscene: |
Google and Microsoft have a lot of money. Let them do battle on the side of the smaller sites. I am willing to bet the record labels have bitten off more than they can chew.
OMG Qu you are sooooo right. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!! BTW you are now MY comments hero.
To 2canchu: You forgot the nudity too!! J/K Really why comment on the violence of one avatar when everything else is abundantly violent?
To Maddskillz: I like your avatar......
|nice story Obs. Hope this changes the game a little. It's time someone see's that torrents sites only are search engines just like the others. |
Long live ET.
|If I read this article correctly. We should be celebrating! The record company is shooting itself in the foot. As well as letting google and microsoft do the courtroom fighting for us. This will set a dangerous precedent for the recording industry if google and microsoft are found innocent.|
|posted by (2009-12-14 03:05:28)|
|WoW! Who listens to the artists under their label??? lol Never heard of any of them..*shrugs*|
|posted by (2009-12-14 04:50:18)|
|Why they went after the two big boys on the block is beyond me, Unless it is solely an attempt at a money grab. Blues Destiny Records you have attacked a lion with a sponge, you will loose and with that we have hopefully moved forward in the protection of torrents.|
|Thanks for the read Obs. Are you saying that anyone that has anything to do with ET having uploaded a torrent and/or seeded the files associated with the torrent should go to court because its justice? I mean no offense I am just trying to make it clear, because as far as I know thats about 100% of the members here.|
|Pointless Lawsuit. If the big boys do win, it will be a huge benefit for file sharing users and sites. We'll just have to wait and see for the outcome. Nice Article OBS!|
|Blues Destiny Records good idea to try an make some money. Maybe its a group of P2P supporters trying to make a point! For real whos gona win against Google and Microsoft??|
|they are able to sue torrent search sites such as minonover so why not google? if the courts take googles side than in the future all torrent sites have to say is "we are just pointing people in the right direction, just like google do" and their will be nothing the courts can do, if they sue google than they have to sue all search engions such as yahoo ect... and that will take forever, its just a viciouse circle, they will never be able to stop torrents|
|A perfect and simple solution suggested by QuietChaos. So true. :)|
|I think people are missing the point here, The DMCA was filed multiple times with both search engines, yet links to copyrighted material show on the search. It doesnt matter which site was provided, but the fact that 1 was found. However I doubt the record company has the resources & clout to beat google and microsoft in court, microsoft NEVER lose! But good luck to them, lets hope the judge uses a computer & understands how the internet works! Lolz!|
|Boy that is a good argument! It is all true, i have been using extratorrent for 2 or so years and I have never seen anything on your site that says "click here to download this file from EXTRATORRENT!" It is really just a search engine for torrents just like google, yahoo, and bing searches for sites and other stuff. So i guess they need to put cases on all the millions of people that have the stuff actually on their computers cause they are the actual ones breaking the law but WHO CARES! I wonder if google was around when Napster was getting sued for all that BS. Hmmm that would have been a good point to make back then in Napsters case.|
|Why risk getting caught downloading illegal music when there are sites like Spotify where you can legally download music. The reason it's free is that it has advertising. If you want it without advertising, then it only costs Â£9.99 a month and also has CD quality sound. Anyway, at least you have the choice, and even if you do just go with the free version, the sound is still good quality. So go on people, head over to Spotify for their huge collection of albums, and don't risk getting yourself sued downloading illegal music.|
|posted by (2009-12-16 14:18:11)|
|Just saw on the news... Anti trust lawsuit dropped against Microsoft in Europe because they offered 12 other search engines besides IE.|
|posted by (2009-12-16 14:21:06)|
|And they are rich.|
|posted by (2009-12-17 03:16:47)|
|Do NOT expect this argument to stand in criminal courts, only civil.|
Unfortunately the correct criminal law argument is ACCOMPLICE and RICO Act. If you plan a murder and do the legwork for someone, you do not have to pull the trigger to be convicted.
|posted by (2009-12-17 03:37:18)|
|The REASON that search engines are now being sued is lack of cooperation versus good faith efforts not to enable piracy. There is a big difference in opinion as to how responsive Google and Microsoft should be.|
The recording industry regularly asks Google and Microsoft to have certain tags like "torrent" and combination of tags blocked.
The search engine people are really dragging their feet due to potential lost ad revenues and the costs of screening blocks for unintended consequences (i.e. not only pirated but large amounts of legal material being blocked).
Obviously the recording industry should not get direct instant unfettered control of tags and combinations of tags as they would literally break the usefulness of search engines for any purpose without remorse. Yet there are searches that are obviously pirate related which yield high results.
I expect the court cases to end something like a 14 day response time required of search engine companies to any specific requests of negative business impact. I suspect there will be criteria to search engines companies to reject blocking requests: less than 5% yield of suspect links or greater than 20% overlap with searches to important legitimate material.
I suspect that in the end search engine companies will end up agreeing to CENSOR any searches tags combination submitted by anti-piracy organizations. That is your raw search results will be searched/filtered again to remove pirated materials. Expect some slow searches and big impact to hardware requires of search engine companies. Still better than having your use of searches reported to the recording industry as they have requested in the past.
|posted by (2009-12-18 15:48:27)|
|BBC news today. Google foung guilty in france of breach of copywright laws. thay have been publishing copywighted books online. orded to pay large fine.|
|posted by (2009-12-18 16:00:32)|
|Google Books Library found guilty of violating copyright by French ...|
18 Dec 2009 ... Google have been found guilty by a French court today of violating copyright by digitising books and putting extracts online.
|posted by (2009-12-20 12:25:44)|
|for 2canchu - the song was by Warren Zevon - genius!!|
|Thanxx for the info will see what happens:))||
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