Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Google in Court about Thumbnail Images

Google has just lost a preliminary injunction against Perfect 10, a website that shows nude photos for a monthly fee. Apparently Perfect 10 doesn’t like it that their images appear in Google Images because the thumbnail images are just the right size for handheld devices. The logic is that mobile users won’t pay for a subscription to Perfect 10 when they can get the same images for free in Google Images. The reason the images appear in Google Images is because they are being harvested from websites of copyright pirates that make illegal copies of the Perfect 10 images.

In my opinion, Google is not really to blame for the copyright infringers. Perfect 10 should be dealing with those people directly and leave Google alone. Although Google states that they will likely just need to remove Perfect 10 photos from Google Images, this could open the door for a lot more litigation. What about all the nude images from hundreds of other websites that are being pirated and placed on indexable websites? It would be wise for Google to have a general policy of keeping their index free of nude photos. In fact, Google would do well to completely separate itself from the pornography industry, an industry that profits on humanity’s baser instincts. (Yes, I do feel strongly on this issue.)