Supreme Court Won't Hear Perfect 10's Silly Lawsuit Against Google; Good Ruling Stands

from the phew dept

Perfect 10 has basically made a business out of suing companies claiming copyright abuse. The former publisher of “adult” magazines has gone on a rampage suing tons of companies — including all the major search engines — claiming that pointing people to infringing results and showing thumbnails of copyrighted images is infringement itself. For an eye-opening look at Perfect 10, the best read is probably Rapidshare’s countersuit from a few years ago, that goes into detail on how the company operates. So far, Perfect 10 has lost almost all of its big cases — including those against both payment processors and search engines. To be honest, in the long run, Perfect 10 may have done a lot of good in presenting cases that highlight the clear insanity of certain interpretations of copyright law, providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.

The lawsuit against Google for showing thumbnails has bounced around for years, with the appeals court saying that showing those thumbnails is fair use — something those freaking out about Pinterest might want to keep in mind. As it’s done before, the Supreme Court has (once again) rejected one of Perfect 10’s appeals, meaning that the (strong) lower court ruling stands. Yes, technically, it only applies in the 9th Circuit, but this ruling seems to be one that other courts are willing to cite and use, so hopefully the precedent is considered more widespread. While it would have been nice to have a Supreme Court ruling smacking down Perfect 10 and making such a clear fair use ruling apply across the board, for now we’ll be happy with just keeping the good 9th Circuit ruling in place.

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Companies: google, perfect 10

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Comments on “Supreme Court Won't Hear Perfect 10's Silly Lawsuit Against Google; Good Ruling Stands”

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19 Comments
Torgsays:

So far, Perfect 10 has lost almost all of its big cases — including those against both payment processors and search engines. To be honest, in the long run, Perfect 10 may have done a lot of good in presenting cases that highlight the clear insanity of certain interpretations of copyright law, providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.

Wishful thinking makes me believe that that that’s intentional. The company owner calls in his lawyers, tells them, “I need you to come up with as many different ways to sue for copyright infringement as possible, then sue companies that can afford a court battle. Do everything in your power to ensure that precedent comes out against us.” And now he’s beating his head against the wall because once again the Supreme Court has turned down the opportunity to set national precedent.

Come to think of it, has anyone infringed on Techdirt’s copyright lately?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re:

“The company owner calls in his lawyers, tells them, “I need you to come up with as many different ways to sue for copyright infringement as possible”

It’s funny how this seems to be the default action of so many legacy companies who are failing, isn’t it? It’s almost as though they admit they can’t compete so have to have the courts force people to do business the way they’d prefer to.

“Come to think of it, has anyone infringed on Techdirt’s copyright lately?”

Almost certainly, but Mike’s stated on many occasions that he doesn’t particularly care and has built his business in such a way that it doesn’t really matter.

Anonymoussays:

Good Ruling Stands

Have you read the whole thing? I sincerely doubt that you’d refer to it as a “good ruling” if you had. The Ninth Circuit says that Google can be contributorily liable if it knows that links in its search results point to infringing material yet fails to act.

Accordingly, we hold that a computer system operator can be held contributorily liable if it ?has actual knowledge that specific infringing material is available using its system,? Napster, 239 F.3d at 1022, and can ?take simple measures to prevent further damage? to copyrighted works, Netcom, 907 F.Supp. at 1375, yet continues to provide access to infringing works. *** Applying our test, Google could be held contributorily liable if it had knowledge that infringing Perfect 10 images were available using its search engine, could take simple measures to prevent further damage to Perfect 10’s copyrighted works, and failed to take such steps.

Perfect 10 v. Amazon/Google, 508 F.3d 1146, 1172 (9th Cir. 2007).

You’ve complained before that linking to infringing material shouldn’t give rise to liability, but thanks to the wonderful efforts of Perfect 10, the Ninth Circuit has now explained that such linking does give rise to liability. Thanks, Perfect 10!

So far, Perfect 10 has lost almost all of its big cases — including those against both payment processors and search engines. To be honest, in the long run, Perfect 10 may have done a lot of good in presenting cases that highlight the clear insanity of certain interpretations of copyright law, providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.

Um, you really should actually read the case, Mike. Perfect 10 won on the notion that search engines can be liable for linking to infringing material once they knowledge of it and fail to act. You’re right, Perfect 10 is “providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.”

LOL!

Anonymoussays:

By the way, Mike. If you actually did any research at all before posting stuff like this, you’d know that the issue being appealed to the Supreme Court was only whether irreparable harm can be presumed on a motion for preliminary injunction.

You say:

As it’s done before, the Supreme Court has (once again) rejected one of Perfect 10’s appeals, meaning that the (strong) lower court ruling stands. Yes, technically, it only applies in the 9th Circuit, but this ruling seems to be one that other courts are willing to cite and use, so hopefully the precedent is considered more widespread. While it would have been nice to have a Supreme Court ruling smacking down Perfect 10 and making such a clear fair use ruling apply across the board, for now we’ll be happy with just keeping the good 9th Circuit ruling in place.

This demonstrates your complete confusion about what the appeal to the Supreme Court was even about–news flash, it wasn’t about fair use.

From the petition for cert., here’s the question presented: “Did this Court’s decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388 (2006), overrule established precedent in virtually every circuit, that a showing of likelihood of success on the merits in a copyright infringement claim raises a presumption of irreparable harm for purposes of obtaining a preliminary injunction?”

Nothing about fair use, Mike. Wow! It’s almost like Mike just makes it up! Shocker.

You say:

So far, Perfect 10 has lost almost all of its big cases — including those against both payment processors and search engines.

The lawsuit against Google is still ongoing. A jury trial is scheduled for early 2013. Once again, you jump the gun.

It scares me that anyone listens to you or takes you seriously, when it’s so clear to me that you just make shit up and don’t do your homework.

Torgsays:

Re: Re:

I don’t speak legal, so let me know if my interpretation’s off, but after a bit of googling, I’m guessing that that means that the court ruling determined that X being successful with Y’s stuff doesn’t necessarily mean that Y was harmed, and so X can’t be made to stop without other additional reasons. If that’s right, it might not directly relate to fair use, but it does reduce the number of things that companies can be sued over, which is close enough. How wrong am I here?

What does an ongoing trial have to do with its current track record? If a large majority of the decided cases went against Perfect 10, then the statement is accurate. That’s what “so far” means.

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