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February 22, 2006

Google Loses Copyright Suit Over Porn Images

Perfect 10, a company that served images of nude women for a fee, sued Google because of its picture search, alleging that Google allowed individuals access to its pictures for free,  U.S. District Judge A. Howard Martz agreed with Perfect 10 and said he planned to issue a preliminary injunction against Google forbidding them from displaying Perfect 10 images.  Perfect 10 also wanted damages from Google for every web site to which it linked that contained Perfect 10 content.  The judge did not buy that argument and distinguished Google from a file-sharing network.

One of the points that led the judge to issue the injunction is that Google's image search was available through telecommunication options such as cell phones.  Perfect 10 had licensed content for cell phones with Fonestarz media in the U.K. On that basis, what might have been fair use in some contexts clearly became a replacement for a paid service.

Stories are in the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. Subscription required for both.

February 22, 2006 | Permalink

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