Google Misreads Complaint From MLB, Blocks Wrong Site

from the the-new-new-google? dept

Well, this is unfortunate. Google's been getting more and more pressure from the US government to censor websites based on accusations (not convictions) of copyright infringement, and it appears that Google is caving more and more to such requests, rather than standing up for user rights and the basics of how copyright works. It did that bizarre and really poorly thought out blocking of certain autocomplete words. Then there was the absolutely awful copyright school that perpetuated certain copyright myths and made "fair use" sound like the negative side effects you might get when you take some prescription medicine. On top of that it got a lot of attention for deleting Grooveshark's app from the Android Marketplace, but further research shows that it's been dumping a bunch of music apps.

The latest, though, is particularly egregious. Apparently, it entirely removed Rojadirecta.es from its directory based on a DMCA complaint from Major League Baseball, but it appears to have completely misread the complaint.

First of all, you may recognize the name Rojadirecta. It's the site that was found to be totally legal (twice) in Spain, but still had its .com domain seized by Homeland Security. It already had the .es domain and now that's become it's main site. Now, you could potentially see someone issuing a DMCA takedown over that site, but the notice in question was not actually a DMCA takedown notice at all, but a notice of a violation of AdSense. If that's the case, then you could see it lead to a cancellation of that AdSense program, but not a block from the index.

Making matters even worse, MLB's complaint is wrong. The AdSense in question was not even on Rojadirecta's site. Rojadirecta is a linking site, and the complaint was actually about ads on a site Rojadirecta linked to. And yet, because of this Google blocked the Rojadirecta site. At a time when governments around the globe are also getting upset with Google for what they deem to be arbitrary listing decisions (and yes, I agree that this political argument is silly), you would think that Google would be more careful than to completely dump a site based on a questionable AdSense policy violation claim.
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Filed Under: adsense, copyright, takedown
Companies: google, rojadirecta


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  1. identicon
    Morris Rosenthal, 15 Nov 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Dropped Adsense over copyright infringements

    I used Adsense on my book publishing site for six years and advised other publishers to try it as well. But after spending the last month fighting duplicate content problems, I've concluded that Adsense is resposible for both of them and pulled out. Just posted on my blog:

    Adsense and Blogger: A Business Model for Infringement

    Morris Rosenthal
    Foner Books

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