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Intellectual Property Law: IP Blawg
Google Reveals A Cache Of Defenses To Copyright Claims
By Farella Braun + Martel LLP
In an intriguing ruling on the application of copyright principles to internet search engines, a district court in Nevada has ruled that Google is not liable for copyright infringement for allowing internet users to access copies of works stored by Google in an online repository.
The plaintiff had argued that Google?s practice of storing HTML code from Web pages operated by plaintiff in a temporary cache, and then allowing Google users to access the contents of that cache, violated his copyrights. But on cross motions for summary judgment, the court sided entirely with Google, granting summary judgment in favor of Google on several independent affirmative defenses, including implied license (because the plaintiff had knowingly used meta-tags to flag that his web pages could be archived), estoppel (because the plaintiff had known Google was caching his web pages for some time but had failed to take industry standard steps to request that Google stop), and the DMCA safe harbor for system caches.
Perhaps most importantly, however, the court also found that Google?s practices constituted a ?fair use? of the copyrighted web pages. In its analysis, the court repeatedly emphasized that the caching ?serves multiple transformative and socially valuable purposes?, including letting internet user access materials found on inaccessible web pages, detect changes in web pages over time, and understand why web pages were deemed responsive to their search requests.
If we could run a search for ?well-reasoned copyright decisions?, how high do you think this court?s decision would rank?
Today's Blogger: Eric Bass
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