You may remember, years ago, when the adult hosting site for ‘Perfect 10 Magazine' sued Google, Amazon, and the credit card processing company CWIE for numerous allegations which included unfair competition; copyright and trademark infringement; violation of right of publicity; and false advertising amongst others.
Well, the adult hosting site's battle against Google ended in 2012 after a long and drawn out eleven-year legal nightmare. Google was being sued over copyright infringements including Google's use of cached images. Despite ‘Perfect 10' offering $25,000 to any person who could prove wrongdoing (which no one ever cashed in on), the case was dismissed.
Cheap Hosting Lawsuit Perfect 10 v. Google
Google was sued by Perfect 10 back in 2001, when the adult hosting site requested a permanent injunction against Google to keep it from copying and distributing thumbnails of images from their magazine, as well as attempting to stop Google from linking to sites that illegally hosted Perfect 10 content.
The court initially agreed with the fact Google should not be using the thumbnails. But later on, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling. They said Google's use of the thumbnails was “fair use.”
Perfect 10, unhappy with this ruling, fired back with a variety of secondary liability claims. Most were supported by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and of course opposed by the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Eight grueling years of legal battles and two unsuccessful requests for the Supreme Court to review the case, it moved to the District Court. Both Google and the adult hosting site pointed fingers at each other, claiming they were breaking the rules. And towards the end, Perfect 10 went the unconventional route to justice, releasing this plea for readers to help out:
“Perfect 10 is offering $25,000 to the person who provides us with the most compelling non-public evidence of Google's illegal conduct between now and February 28,2012…” the public appeal stated.
It did not generate any evidence for the adult hosting site.
The End Of The Battle
In the end, both Google and Perfect 10 agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice. A Google representative wouldn't say if there was a behind-closed-doors settlement involved.
Why A Dismissal?
Why would the cheap hosting site agree to dismiss the case? It probably has something to do with the fact the court asked Perfect 10 to open its books, showing the court all communications within the company regarding the lawsuit. Was there something they wanted to hide? It is certainly possible.
No True End In Sight
Yes, Google and the adult hosting site have had the suit dismissed. However, the other suits are still going strong. Their other suits, copyright cases against companies like Amazon, Hot-file, Mega-upload, and more are still going strong. In fact, they have added Yandex, Russia's version of Google, to the list of defendants, as well as Tumbler.
What Can You Learn?
Unless you are a search engine, not much. It is because Google is a search engine and not directly hosting the material that they were not found to violate any copyright laws. The thumbnails included in their image results page are simply there to direct you to Perfect 10's homepage.
What you need to know is this: assure that all pictures and materials put up on your website are yours, or that you've been granted permission to use the materials. You do not want to find yourself in court: it won't be as easy as it was for Google.
Do you think Google should have been found guilty? Do you agree with the court's decision?