[linux-elitists] Re: Google censorship of xenu.com domain [#201159]

Seth David Schoen schoen@loyalty.org
Thu Mar 21 14:54:35 PST 2002

In particular, you can contrast Google's statement that

> > We removed some pages of the xenu.net website from our search engine
> > earlier this week in response to a copyright infringement notification
> > under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).  We are legally
> > obligated to do this by the provisions of the DMCA. It is not within our
> > discretion as a company to decide when to conform to this law and when
> > to ignore it.

with their explanation at http://www.google.com/dmca.html

   It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that
   comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which
   can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office Web Site,
   http://lcWeb.loc.gov/copyright/) and other applicable intellectual
   property laws, which may include removing or disabling access to
   material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity.

The important difference is between "it is our policy to respond to
notices" and "we are legally obligated to do this by the provisions of
the DMCA".  It is correct that it is Google's policy to respond to
notices (and I'm sure they formed that policy upon sound legal
advice).  It isn't correct that Google is "legally obligated to do
this".  17 USC 512(l) should make clear that providers are allowed to
decide whether or not this will be their policy, and they do not
_automatically_ incur copyright liability if they decide that it will
not be their policy (or fail to carry out that policy).

Seth David Schoen <schoen@loyalty.org> | Reading is a right, not a feature!
     http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/   |                 -- Kathryn Myronuk
     http://vitanuova.loyalty.org/     |

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