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Google PageRank Suit Dismissed 97

idobi writes to mention a C|Net article covering the dismissal of the Google page ranking case. Despite the loss, KinderStart also saw the ruling as a victory. The judge left the door open for a refiling, and the company is seeking to bring the suit to class-action status. Assistant professor of law at Marquette University Law School Eric Goldman comments in the article: "Frankly, there are very few novel or surprising aspects of this ruling. For example, the judge rejected the claim that Google was a state actor, but this ruling is entirely consistent with the dozen or so precedents involving private Internet companies ... The other rulings seemed very sensible and fairly predictable from the complaint. It's pretty clear that the judge thinks that some of KinderStart's claims have no chance even with repleading, but the judge apparently has decided to give KinderStart that chance rather than just shutting the door."
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Google PageRank Suit Dismissed

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  • Lawsuit advertising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mattOzan ( 165392 ) < vispuslo.mattozan@net> on Friday July 14, 2006 @12:56PM (#15719957) Homepage Journal

    I don't know how much this legal action has cost them, but it's gotten Kinderstart more recognition their Google PageRank ever did, even when it was healty. There's no such thing as bad publicity, which this whole debacle has gotten them in spades.

    But, of course, if you don't offer a quality good or service, mere publicity won't result in lasting traffic and revenue. And since Kinderstart is nothing but a linkfarm, I don't think they'll benefit much in the long run. A Slashmob isn't really their demographic, anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2006 @01:13PM (#15720095)
    I'm scared by the fact that the case made it this far.

    Let's say I put up a little web site with FREE CONTENT, and then someone sues me because it doesn't do or say exactly what they wanted.

    In what twisted, fucked-up legal theory does the idea of Google providing a free service suddenly turn into a LEGAL OBLIGATION to provide that service exactly the same way forever?

    The fact that this idea was even entertained is horrific. This subjects many great free things (Wikipedia, blogs, etc.) to direct legal jeopardy -- or at least burdens them with the expense of hiring a lawyer to defend against these kind of garbage suits.

    In the past few years, it's become clear that we're going down a very nasty road. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone sue the FSF because GNU/Linux does not implement some particular feature, or if it has some bug in it.
  • by Punt3r ( 926089 ) * on Friday July 14, 2006 @01:37PM (#15720268)
    Well... if google is saying:
    "In the opinion of google, KinderStart is not relevant to [some specific search criteria], i.e. KinderStart Sucks", that still shouldn't be defamation.

    If they were saying:
    "Google saw KinderStart suck on a phallus", (when in fact they did not see such an event), that's defamation.

    See: []
    "...publication of a false statement of fact, made with the requisite state of mind, that causes injury"

    I count on Google's page ranking system for _relevancy_, and there's no reason why manual intervention can't be part of that ranking system. If I don't like their methodology, I'll use some other search engine.

  • Re:Wtf? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday July 14, 2006 @02:48PM (#15720765) Homepage Journal
    Because they claim that Page Rank is an automated, objective measure of a site's relevance.

    A question, then: is it ever possible to incorporate a blacklist into an automated, objective measure and have it retain that status? Suppose that blacklist had very objective criteria: "people who are suing us". Would that pass the test?

    I'm not arguing one way or the other, just curious about what other people think of it.

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