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The search engine specialists have been the subject of a fair bit of attention over recent days but this story takes the cake for sure. US men's magazine 'Perfect 10' is suing Google, claiming that the company is not really performing a search service at all. Instead, they claim, Google is continually breaching their copyright by copying, displaying and distributing the magazine's copyrighted images, and earning advertising revenue from doing so.

Talk about tunnel vision!

Full report is here.

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Last Post by benna
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I think this isn't so much about the search engine proper as well as Google's image server which indeed downloads images from all over the web and later returns those when queried about images for a given subject.
These aren't usually (at least when I last used it) fitted with a reference to the original source of the image, which is highly questionable behaviour on the part of Google (and Yahoo and others who have similar services).

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I must say I am growing a bit tired of all the google stories but I feel obligated to reply.

This is really stupid on the magazines part. Google images is great advertising for them. Few if any people use google images simply to look at the thumbnails. At least when I use it, I click on the thumbnail which takes me to the website it is from. How is this in any way taking away from the magazine's site?

I think a major problem today is that companies' business models are still based on traditional media, which are very different from the internet. If google was reprinting these images with ads in a print format things would be entirly different, but they are not. The record industry makes similar mistakes. There is some hope though. The BBC announced recently that due to the leaking of one of its shows before it aired, they have decided to embrace the internet as a distribution medium for TV.

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Well, in the interest of playing the Devil's Advocate, innovation and novelty have also frequently been used as the hallmark excuse of plagiarists. A change in presentation, an update for a new generation, or an alternate form of distribution are not excuses to deny someone's entitlement to material they created in the first place.

It is awfully covenient for Google to claim they are just deploying others IP to medium's neglected by the property owner. Now I havent used Google Images, so I couldn't comment on the presentation nor how well credit for the source material is provided... however....

Google does need to realize that with their rapid & incredulous growth, and spider-like intentions to creep into every technology market (not unlike a certain other behemoth from Redmond), they can not continue to trounce upon business methods of other industries - without regard for the desires of those others to preserve their livelihood - and not expect to ruffle a few feathers (and have to line the pockets of a several attorneys).

Personally, I know I rarely 'click-behind' to find where images come from, unless I'm planning on using them in my own web pages or some other potentially profitable use. In general, most average users (techies excluded) avoiding clicking unnecessarily, so I wouldn't be so quick to presume that these companies are getting adequate compensation for the redistribution of their content.

Just my two cents.

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Elohir, your 'however' is a tad hasty, perhaps. Google image search displays a thumbnail of the image, a representation of the image in context on the web page of origin, and a link to the original web page. You have to go a step further to view the image as stand-alone in full size.

It also clearly displays a warning that the image may be subject to copyright. It's a bit hard to see how Google could possibly be 'redistributing content' when the search result basically tells you where the website is :)

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Thanks Cat. That certainly does sound like they make due effort to give credit. As I said, I had not used the service (the images portion of Google), but I have been aware of the waves they have been making recently in the tech & business circles.

Don't get me wrong, I think they are making a lot of wonderful products out there. But what I do find interesting is the changing attitude towards a company who was once poised as the Microsoft antithesis, as it becomes a behemoth itself.

Is this the attitude that any substantially successful software company can expect from the masses?

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Could this case be related to Google's decision to publish entire libraries worth of books for online without prior consent from or compensation to the copyright holders?

Doing the same to websites and the images contained therein would be a logical next step after all.

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I don't believe this. Actually, I always check the site in the search when I click on the results, and it is really good advertising. I have found great sites thanks to it, so I don't think they are stealing in any way, or whatever you call it.

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Could this case be related to Google's decision to publish entire libraries worth of books for online without prior consent from or compensation to the copyright holders?

That's a misrepresentation of 'Google Print'. The only books which could be read online via Google print are those which are already in the public domain. For any books which are subject to copyright, only a small extract can be read online.

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No Cat, that's not the case. Google never stated that. They openly plagiarise copyrighted works unless the copyright holders complain after the fact. While they may initially put online only small pieces that's just to set a precedent which shows the publisher/author have abandoned the work into the public domain so after a while they're then within the law to put it all online (copyright needs to be enforced or it expires).

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jwenting you are dead wrong. I have myself attempted to read entire books on google and it just didn't work. It stopped me from reading after a few pages. I was able to read most of the book on Amazon though, using several credit cards. You are also wrong about copyright needing to be enforced. You are confusing copyright with trademarks. Trademarks need to be enforced, but copyrights do not. Please don't make claims about things you do not know about.

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