Google To Get EU “Watchdog” As Part Of Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-featured The New York Times is reporting that as part of the anticipated antitrust settlement in Europe Google is likely to be subject to a "watchdog" overseer. This role is explained in a "96-page [job] description" according to the paper: Among the details of the job: The title is monitoring trustee. And although the salary remains unknown, the taker will be paid by Google. In addition, the chosen candidate cannot have any other links to Google during the five-year term or for three more years after the job comes to an end. Google could hold the person liable for disclosing confidential information. [...]


French Court Orders Google To Remove Max Mosley Images From Search Engine Results

Google logo After making a public plea for the European courts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Formula One president Max Mosley, Google found out today the French court has ruled in favor of Mosley and is forcing the search engine to censure search results. According to a report on Reuters.com, the French court has ordered Google to, "Remove and cease, for a period of five years beginning two months after this decision, the appearance of nine images identified by Max Mosley in the Google Images search engine results." To keep the images in question from showing up in search results, Google says it [...]


Google, Android Makers Sued By Apple “Rockstar” Consortium Over Search, AdWords

Google legal Roughly two years ago Google and a consortium of companies competitively bid for the vast patent portfolio of bankrupt Canadian Company Nortel Networks. Google initiated the bidding with $900 million but ultimately was outbid by the Rockstar consortium, consisting of Microsoft, Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. Google's final bid was $4.4 billion. Rockstar won the patents for $4.5 billion. Now Google has been sued by Rockstar and two subsidiaries over several of the patents in the former Nortel portfolio: US Patents 6,098,065; 7,236,969; 7,469,245; 7,672,970; 7,895,178; 7,895,183; a [...]


New Google Antitrust Offer A “Significant Improvement” Says EU

Google Europe After Google's competitors loudly complained about the company's antitrust settlement proposal, which displayed three "rival links" to alternative' search results, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said it would take new "concessions" for Google to successfully settle its antitrust case with Europe. Google has now reportedly made those concessions. Almunia characterized Google's updated settlement offer, submitted last month, as a "significant improvement." According to a Reuters report, "Almunia told lawmakers in the European Parliament he believed the new offer made i [...]


MPAA: 82 Percent Of Searches Leading To Pirated Content Come From Google

piracy-cd-music-featured The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today accused Google and other search engines of playing "a significant role" in directing consumers to pirated movies and TV shows, with a special callout for the amount of Google searches that lead to infringing material. It's the latest volley in a long-running battle between Hollywood and the search engines over the easy online availability of stolen content and whose job it is to clean up the problem. MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd -- the former US Senator -- introduced the results of a new study during a news conference today in Washington [...]


New Concessions From Google Seek To Avoid EU Antitrust Penalties

google-eu-featured According to Reuters the European Commission (EC) says Google has submitted a new settlement proposal with "further concessions" in its bid to end the antitrust inquiry against the company. If the parties fail to reach agreement the EC has the ability to fine Google a percentage of its global revenues. That penalty could be as high as $5 billion potentially. No details of the new proposal were provided by Reuters or the EC. The updated proposal will likely be revealed in short order. The EC concluded its original antitrust investigation of Google with a report detailing "four areas of [...]


Privacy Groups Want Judge To Reject Google’s $8.5 Million Settlement Over Search Privacy Lawsuit

google-legal-240px Last month, Google agreed to pay $8.5 million into a settlement fund over a class-action lawsuit by two searchers who accused the company of transmitting their personal information to third parties without their consent or knowledge that the information was being shared. The final court approval of the proposed settlement was scheduled for today, but five US privacy groups have asked the court to reject the preliminary settlement agreement. Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wrote a joint l [...]


With Amazing Chutzpah Google Claims It Can’t Be Sued In UK Courts

Google legal Last year Google was embroiled in controversy over its circumvention of the Safari browser's cookie-privacy settings (on the iPhone and beyond). As a result the company paid a $22.5 million fine to settle the case with the US FTC approximately a year ago. The FTC summarizes the facts that lead to the settlement: [F]or several months in 2011 and 2012, Google placed a certain advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google’s DoubleClick advertising network, although Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of [...]


New Research Says Search Engines Have Little To Do With Promoting Pirated Content

google-bing-piracy-featured A new research paper authored by Matt Schruers and published by the Computer & Communications Industry Association argues that search engines have been unfairly targeted in the quest to impede online copyright infringement. According to the paper, the perception is that search engines are the primary culprit in copyright infringement cases, offering visibility to unlawful and pirated content. But, Schruers writes, "the contention that disappearing undesirable entries from search results would substantially prevent piracy is flawed" and "the solutions to online infringement have little t [...]


German Publishers Opt-In To Google News — For The Moment

Google legal Following the enactment of a controversial copyright law in Germany, Google said that it would require publishers to formally "opt-in" to Google News or be excluded from results. Accordingly major German publishers have decided to do so -- for now. The new law, which went into effect today and gives publishers almost total control over the use of their content, still allows news aggregators and search engines to show “single words” and modest “text excerpts” but creates legal uncertainty and potential liability for those who misinterpret the rules. What qualifies as a "text excer [...]


Bing Adds Warnings To Child-Porn Related Queries In UK; Google Rejects The Idea

bing-warning-alert-featured Bing has added new pop-up alerts that are triggered when people search for terms considered to be related to child porn, according to the BBC, in reaction to the UK's prime minister attacking Google, Bing & Yahoo over not doing enough to stop child pornography. But Google has reportedly rejected the idea of warnings. Microsoft told the BBC that the notifications aimed "to stop those who may be drifting towards trying to find illegal child abuse content on the web via search engines." "This is in addition to Microsoft's existing and longstanding policy of removing any verified links to [...]


Google Continues Censoring Piracy-Related Search Suggestions By Blocking Grooveshark

google-search-censored-featured TorrentFreak reports Google has added another website to the piracy block list for their instant search suggestions. The site is named Grooveshark, which is a popular free music streaming service. Google would not comment specifically about Grooveshark, but told TorrentFreak, "our algorithms prevent terms closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete." Back in January 2011, Google began filtering piracy related terms from their instant search suggestions. Google said then that they will "prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete. [...]


Google Agrees To Settle Lawsuit Over Passing Search Queries To Third Parties

google-legal-240px Google has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that stems from two searchers accusing the company of sharing their search queries with third parties without user content or knowledge. As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to pay $8.5 million into a settlement fund, with that money going to seven groups/organizations on the condition that they agree to use the money for public education and/or research related to protecting online privacy. In October 2010, Paloma Gaos sued Google because the company "transmitted user search queries to third parties without knowledge or consent [...]


Google’s Schmidt: Hollywood Should Take Content Pirates To Court

copyright-piracy-featured Google's Eric Schmidt says that the entertainment industry should focus on taking content pirates to court, rather than just trying to get Google (and other search engines) to remove pirate sites from search results. His comments, reported by Variety, came yesterday during an impromptu chat with reporters at an annual financial conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. "The industry would like us to edit the web and literally delete sites, and that goes counter to our philosophy," Schmidt is quoted as saying. But Google does remove pages. The company announced at the end of 2012 that it had r [...]


Mississippi Attorney General To Subpoena Google For Illegal Sale Of Prescription Drugs

google-legal-law-featured Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood will subpoena Google records and emails to determine if Google facilitated the sale of drugs without a prescription and other illegal products, including counterfeit copies of movies, games and music. "Google is aiding and abetting criminal activity and putting consumers at risk," says Hood, "This is of grave concern to the chief law enforcement officers of this nation." The attorney general heads an intellectual property section of the National Association of Attorneys General and is urging other attorney generals to follow his lead. According to a [...]


State AGs: Google Still Allows & Profits From Illegal Drug Ads

Google legal The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is accusing Google of continuing to give consumers access to illegal and counterfeit goods -- including drugs -- in its search results, and is allowing sites that deal in such goods to advertise with Google. NAAG has asked Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page to discuss its concerns at a national meeting of state attorneys general that's happening June 17-19 in Boston. There's no formal statement that I can find on the NAAG website, but both USA Today and the Mississippi Business Journal are quoting that state's AG, Jim Hood, co-chair [...]


Google Refuses Hollywood Studio Requests To De-List File Storage Site Mega

dmca-google In recent weeks, Hollywood studios NBC Universal and Warner Bros both submitted DMCA takedown requests asking Google to de-list the file storage website Mega from its search index. According to a report on TorrentFreak, NBC Universal claimed Mega's homepage  linked to the NBC-owned film Mama, while Warner Bros alleged Mega made pirated copies of its film Gangster Squad available from its website. Since Mega's homepage doesn't link to any files, Google did not remove the website from its search index. Launched in January of this year, Mega is the successor site of Megaupload, a fil [...]


EU Says More Google “Concessions” Needed Before Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-featured The vigorous lobbying efforts of Google critics FairSearch.org and Foundem's SearchNeutrality.org seem to be paying off. Earlier today EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told members of the European Parliament that additional "concessions" would probably be required of Google to settle the antitrust investigation against the company and avoid litigation and potential financial penalties. According to Reuters, Almunia said the following: After [all the settlement proposal feedback is received] we will analyze the responses we have received, we will ask Google, probably, I cannot an [...]


German “Ancillary Copyright” Law To Go Into Effect, Imposes Limits On Search Results

Google legal According to a report from IDG News, a "toned down" version of an earlier, more restrictive "ancillary copyright" law has been published in Germany and will go into effect in August. The ”ancillary copyright” rule was proposed in August of 2012. In its initial form it would have required Google and others that indexed or aggregated news to pay for links or excerpts from those news items -- essentially a "link tax." The law was pushed by German magazine and newspaper publishers that see the Internet and Google, in particular, as the cause of many of their subscription, readership and [...]


Wired Revisits Story Of Federal Sting & $500M Penalty Over Google’s Pharmacy Ads

Wired is telling the story of David Whitaker, a federal prisoner that helped the U.S. government catch Google breaking the law by allowing and helping foreign pharmacies sell drugs via Google AdWords. It's a story you may have heard before; the Wall Street Journal did a similar exposé on Whitaker and the federal sting operation in early 2012. Wired tells how Whitaker used a pseudonym and convinced Google AdWords reps to help him tweak his pharmacy websites so that they'd be approved for AdWords. To prove that Google's behavior was widespread, Whitaker went through a different rep—one [...]


Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide