Caching Pages Now Legal According to US Court

Jan 26, 2006 - 5:43 pm 0 by

Talk about a major news story that has caused the two major SEM forums to debate. We got two large threads, one at WebmasterWorld and the other at Search Engine Watch Forums. The WebmasterWorld thread started by the founder of WebmasterWorld, Brett Tabke and the Search Engine Watch thread started by the founder of Search Engine Watch, Danny Sullivan.

Danny does an excellent job explaining the two different sides of the story, in his thread. He explains that it makes sense that the court ruled in favor of Google to allow them to cache pages be default, since they do allow a opt out protocol (i.e. <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOARCHIVE">). He explains, since spidering a site requires an opt out, not to be included in the index, the same should apply to the caching of those pages. Danny also give other logical and reasonable explanations as to why caching should be allowed by default.

Brett explains that "the court did not understand what real caching is and what Google calls caching." Explaining that what Google called caching "does not meet the crieteria for caching." He continues to warn that this will "effectively neuters all copyright laws on the internet today. It is the wild-wild west again. It legalizes content theft."

There are two sides to the story, the court ruled in favor of Google.

After Danny spoke with DaveN on his Search Cast morning show and read Brett's thread on the topic, he has changed his mind.

But not that we have a court that seems to not understand some real copyright issues, I'm flipflopped. I'm with Dave and Brett -- make it opt in. And we don't need a court decision for that to happen. The search engines themselves could do it. The problem is, with this ruling in their pocket, they have less reason to do so.

It makes you think if that was one of the reasons why the other day the Google Cache Currently Offline (if you do not know what the Google cache is, click on that story, it will show you). The Google cache is currently back online and running properly.

Join the debate, maybe the search engines will listen, forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and at Search Engine Watch Forums.


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