Google Lawsuit: Our Links Don’t Violate Copyright

Google is suing a small record company that previously sued Google over its links to copyrighted works hosted on Rapdishare. Google Inc. v. Blues Destiny Records, LLC was filed April 28 in a California district court.

It’s a potentially important issue at hand: As Billboard explains, Google is asking the court to declare that the links in its search results (to copyrighted material) don’t constitute a copyright violation.

Blues Destiny Records sued Google, Microsoft, and Rapidshare last year. The company said Google and Bing were helping Rapidshare distribute copyrighted works because the songs were easy to find in search results. The record label dropped its suit in March, but refused Google’s request to waive its right to refile the same lawsuit in the future. That refusal seems to have prompted Google to go on the offensive in trying to protect its search results from future lawsuits.

It’s somewhat similar to a previous case concerning the display of image thumbnails in Google’s search results. Back in 2007, a U.S. circuit court ruled in Google’s favor, saying Google was not violating copyright by showing thumbnail versions of copyrighted images in its search results.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Legal | Legal: Copyright


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Michael Martinez

    This lawsuit, if it goes all the way through the court system, could settle one of the longest standing IPR issues concerning the Internet. There is already a little bit of case law regarding links but apparently not enough to discourage attorneys from filing claims against companies over linking.

    Maybe we should be rooting for Google on this one.

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