Google Keeps Losing in Germany: This Time Over Google Images

Oct 16, 2008 - 8:12 am 1 by

Google lost their Gmail dispute in Germany and they had to remove (and the like) from, plus other cases I am missing right now. This week, Bloomberg reports that Google "lost two copyright lawsuits in Germany over displaying photos and artworks as thumbnails in a preview of search results."

In short, let me blockquote:

Google's preview of a picture by German photographer Michael Bernhard violates his copyrights, the Regional Court of Hamburg ruled, his lawyer Matthies van Eendenburg said in an interview today. Thomas Horn, who holds the copyrights on some comics that were displayed in Google search results, won a second case, court spokeswoman Sabine Westphalen said in an e-mail.

I love the responses in the WebmasterWorld thread. Moderator, incrediBILL, said it well:

This is stupid because the solution is technological, not legal:
User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

I cannot agree more. This is pretty immature. Why sue? Why not just use the simple tag? Am I missing something? Don't say, to make money or because people hate Google.

What is going to happen now? These sites will drop in traffic, they might regret suing and who knows. This is not the first time. Same thing happened in Belgium over news content.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.


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