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Google Wins a Court Battle 272

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the justice-served dept.
Gosalia wrote to let us know about an article which opens with: "In a legal win for Google, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a writer who claimed the search giant infringed on his copyright by archiving a Usenet posting of his and providing excerpts from his Web site in search results." Thankfully, we can all still read Usenet articles on Google as well as other archive services.
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Google Wins a Court Battle

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  • Good for Google! (Score:5, Informative)

    by those.numbers (960432) * on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:22AM (#14939663)
    I may not agree with every decision Google makes, but all in all, I believe they're the closest thing we've got to a big business with a conscience. I mean they've got great potential to do some good, as this article points out. http://tcal.net/archives/2006/02/23/google-charity -plans/ [tcal.net]

    But without getting too off track, I'm glad they won this battle. Because of their line of work and the innovative new steps they take, they're bound to step on a few toes. I just hope we don't smother them in too many lawsuits, both as indivduals and as a government.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:25AM (#14939681) Homepage
    According to the ZDNet write-up, he does business as the Snodgrass Publishing Group, who have some interesting offerings at a site they own called "cybersheet.com". This is the top result from a Google search for "Snodgrass Publishing Group" [cybersheet.com]
  • Re:Gtalk (Score:5, Informative)

    by publius_jr (808330) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:53AM (#14939794)
    According to their Terms of Service (http://www.google.com/talk/terms.html [google.com]), by using GTalk:
    You agree that Google may access or disclose your personal information, including the content of your communications, if Google is required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process or governmental request (such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order). [Emphasis added]
    According to their Privacy Policy (http://www.google.com/talk/privacy.html [google.com]):
    When you use Google Talk, we may record information about your usage, such as when you use Google Talk, the size of your contact list and the contacts you communicate with, and the frequency and size of data transfers.
    But regarding to the content of your chats, their Privacy Policy only says:
    You may choose to store the contents of text chats as Gmail messages in your Gmail account.
    Note that it does not say whether Google saves or does not save the content of your chats elsewhere on their computers (i.e. not as Gmail messages). I suppose their right to access the content grants them the right to save it, although it is a bit odd that they don't flat-out state this (or deny it) on their Privacy Policy.
  • by atomic-penguin (100835) <wolfe21 AT marshall DOT edu> on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:12AM (#14939861) Homepage Journal
    There exists several legitimate ways to keep your web content out of google's indexes.  They respect all of the following methods.  Google even has a page titled "Google information for webmasters" which documents most of these.  On what grounds does one have to sue?

    * E-mail header that prevent google groups from archiving your message: "X-No-Archive: Yes".
    * Meta tags: <META NAME="Googlebot" CONTENT="nofollow">
    * Hyperlinks <a href="http://google.com" rel="nofollow">
    * robots.txt file with proper syntax
    * Google's link removal page: http://www.google.com/webmasters/remove.html
  • Re:Strange Decision (Score:2, Informative)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:09AM (#14940008)
    Because as a copyright holder I have the right to dictate the terms of redistribution of my content, and I want to?

    Sure. Now, if you read the fine print of you agreement with your ISP or news server provider, you'll find that you almost certainly agreed to let them redistribute any of your usenet postings without restriction. Those are the terms you chose.

    I suggest next time you just follow my suggestion and simply don't post your dubious opinions on usenet if you don't want them automatically reproduced.

  • Re:Gtalk (Score:3, Informative)

    by Crizp (216129) <chris@eveley.net> on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:18AM (#14940030) Homepage
    However, you always have the possibility of going "off the record" which prevents chats from being saved. It's right there in the preferences and well explained.
  • Re:Cash Grab Suit? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pomo monster (873962) on Friday March 17, 2006 @04:38AM (#14940248)
    Not that I have any sympathy for the joker, but do realize that X-No-Archive is useless if someone replies to your post.

    --
    On 17 March 2006, onedotzero (926558) wrote:
    Perhaps. But with regards to Usenet, that's exactly what X-No-Archive is for.

    --
    onedotzero
    thedigitalfeed.co.uk
  • Re:Cash Grab Suit? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17, 2006 @05:23AM (#14940346)
    So? At that point, it is no longer "your" post anyway, so you have no right to say if the reply should also have X-No-Archive. Unless someone considers quoting copyright infringment as well, but then you'd have to successfully sue the person who quoted you before going after someone like Google for archiving the reply.
  • by maxwell demon (590494) on Friday March 17, 2006 @05:28AM (#14940358) Journal
    You can inhibit Google from archiving your Usenet posting by adding "X-No-Archive: yes" to the message header, or as first line in the message body. It will still be shown for a short while on Google, but when you are posting on Usenet, it's actually part of the system that your message is copied to any number of servers, stored there for a limited time, and made accessible to anyone, so while IANAL, I'd guess by posting to Usenet you give implicit permission to do that.

    So in short, Google archives all Usenet posting where the author doesn't say that he doesn't want it archived. Therefore the analogy would be that you can record, archive and republish any music and other programming unless the author says he doesn't want this. And indeed, this is almost the current copyright situation. The difference is that the default for radio broadcasts is the reverse: Unless the author explicitly allows you to rebroadcast, you may not.

    I guess if the default would be changed, then the only difference would be that radio stations would start to explicitly say all the time that you may not rebroadcast their material. Which I don't consider an improvement over the current situation.
  • Public forum posting (Score:3, Informative)

    by way2trivial (601132) on Friday March 17, 2006 @08:32AM (#14940806) Homepage Journal
    means you give up control..

    Now, if you use the no cache header
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-No-Archive [wikipedia.org]
    and claim copyright, you MAY have an argument...

  • Re:Cash Grab Suit? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Haeleth (414428) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:10PM (#14942701) Journal
    A parallel being torrents that bring you linux Distributions vs torrents that bring you copyrighted media.

    Newsflash - Linux distributions usually contain large quantities of copyrighted media. And that doesn't make them illegal.

    Please refrain from saying "copyrighted" when you mean "unlicensed", as this helps spread the dangerous myth that content under free licenses is somehow different from other copyrighted content.
  • Legally binding? (Score:3, Informative)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:49PM (#14943072) Journal
    Is it required by law that Gtalk clients support "off the record" and actually obey that? Because I use Gaim, and all my chats are logged regardless of such an option.

    All that seems to do is prevent them from going to gmail. It doesn't seem like there's anything to prevent anyone from saving any content to anywhere that is not gmail.

    As someone else pointed out, use PGP or don't complain when your content is spied upon.

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