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
    That Anonymous Coward, 25 Apr 2011 @ 4:41am

    Re:

    The issue is they just had the entire entertainment industry in meetings in Congress where it devolved into why can't Google fix everything.

    Google weighed in on the ISOHunt case, not to protect search engines, but to make sure the ruling was so narrow they could dodge getting ensnared.

    Google sells AdSense and some less than "reputable" websites make a few bucks, and you have the corps complaining to the media how Google is paying pirates!

    Google still has that spiffy "investigation" into if the WiFi gathering was "hacking". They are trying to save their own asses.

    Google does not have that many friends - Music Lockers, Fiber to the home, YouTube. RIAA, ISPS, MPAA... those are some powerful players, who have paid enough to their pocket Congress critters to try and get laws to outlaw Google.

    Rather than trying to make a stand, they are buckling in "small" areas as they try to get their PR machine up and running and get their own set of Congress critter trading cards to use against the other kids.

    In the mean time the public looses as innovation slows down, and has the undue burdens of but thats not how we did it 50 years ago we can't do it that way!

    Google makes decisions that look like missteps, but put yourself in Googles shoes. Your facing multiple "investigations" "meetings" "hearings"... if you do something this dumb you avoid 1 more player at the table calling for your blood. If your still holding onto "Don't be evil" as a mantra, I hate to break it to you - The Easter Bunny isn't real either.

    I think what they did was stupid, honoring a completely invalid request creates something the next moron can point to to get their way. But I can understand why they did it trying to protect themselves. As the overused line goes - Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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