March 16, 2006 2:01 PM PST

Google wins a court battle

In a legal win for Google, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a writer who claimed the search giant infringed on his copyright by archiving a Usenet posting of his and providing excerpts from his Web site in search results.

The lawsuit was filed by Gordon Roy Parker, also known as Ray Gordon, who publishes his writings under the business name of Snodgrass Publishing Group. Parker, of Philadelphia, also posted a chapter of one of his e-books on the Usenet bulletin board network, a collection of thousands of discussion forums called newsgroups.

In his 2004 lawsuit against Google, Parker alleged that the search giant violated copyright law by automatically archiving a copy of his posting on Usenet and by providing excerpts from his Web site in search results.

However, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled on Friday that under case law, Google's activities, akin to those of an Internet Service Provider, do not constitute infringement (click for PDF of court documents).

"When an ISP automatically and temporarily stores data without human intervention so that the system can operate and transmit data to its users, the necessary element of volition is missing," the court said.

The ruling cited a January decision in the Field v. Google case in federal court in Nevada that concluded that cached versions of Web pages Google stores and offers as a part of many search results do not infringe copyright.

The ruling comes after a decision last month in which a federal judge in Los Angeles said that portions of Google's image search feature, which displays thumbnail versions of images found on adult photo site Perfect 10 and others, likely violate U.S. copyright law.

The search engine also faces copyright lawsuits filed last year by authors and publishers groups over its controversial Library Project book-scanning plans, and a lawsuit filed by Agence France-Presse and threat of litigation from the World Association of Newspapers for aggregating headlines and photos without permission or compensation.

In a legal blow to Google earlier this week, a federal judge in San Jose, Calif., said he would grant federal prosecutors at least part of their request for excerpts from Google's index of Web sites. Google is challenging a subpoena from the Department of Justice for a random sampling of Internet addresses and search queries that the DOJ says it needs to help defend a measure designed to hold Web sites liable if minors can access pornography on them.

In his lawsuit, Parker also claimed Google was liable for defamation because the search company archived allegedly defamatory messages posted by Usenet users and that Google was invading his privacy by creating an "unauthorized biography" of him, the court said. However, the court said Google is immune because it either archived or provided access to content that was created by a third party.

Most of the 11 claims in the lawsuit, which also included racketeering, negligence, abuse of process and civil conspiracy, were dismissed for failure to state a claim. Others were dismissed because Google was found not to be held liable under certain statutes.

The ruling also complained about the "rambling" and "unwieldy" lawsuit, which named "50,000 John Does" as defendants. Parker, a former paralegal, said he wrote the complaint himself and does not have a lawyer.

Parker said he will appeal the decision. "The court is confused about what cache means," he said in a telephone interview. "Google really is a third-party republication."

"Google takes my content, uses it to bolster its search engine and attracts traffic to which they pitch advertising from my competitors," Parker complained.

"The Parker decision is one of several recent rulings finding that Google's services are consistent with principles of copyright law. Indeed, Judge Surrick relied in part on Judge Jones' decision in Field v. Google," Michael Kwun, litigation counsel for Google, wrote in an e-mail. "We are very pleased with this decision."

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34 comments

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Ray Gordon Comments On Lawsuit Dismissal
Just a few comments:

1. The amended complaint was filed in October 2004. The original judge in the case, James McGirr Kelly, died while presiding over the case in March 2005. Judge Kelly was more familiar with the facts that had been set forth in previous cases he had heard.

2. The judge likened Google to an ISP, which is okay when dealing with defamation, but for copyright infringement, what Google does is not the same thing as what AOL would do if I were, for example, to infringe copyright by e-mailing someone else a copy of a protected work. A true ISP is just a conduit for transmission. Google makes a wholly separate publication on its website, and uses that publication to generate advertising.

3. The defamation claim was dismissed due to immunity under 47 USC §230, which holds ISPs (and websites) immune for what their users do. Most courts have agreed with this, except for the California Superior Court, which ruled in Barrett v. Rosenthal that this immunity does not apply to "distributors" of defamation (the CA court did uphold publisher immunity). Barrett is currently before the CA Supreme Court, and if upheld, would mean that this exact same set of facts would prevail in California, and if the US Supreme Court were to uphold it, here as well. Congress may also revisit this immunity, given the potential for harm and how it makes libel law practically toothless on the internet. In Google's case, they take defamation from obscure places and serve it up to important people in the target's life, thereby causing most of the damage. Recently, a housing judge in NYC who was literally "put up for sale" on e-bay by a disgruntled litigant wondered "how can e-bay get away with this?" He should have asked his fellow justices!

I will be filing a motion for reconsideration and preparing to appeal this decision.

Ray Gordon, Author
The Seduction Library
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html</a>
Posted by RayGordon2006 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another Parker defendant comments
Mr. Parker is quick to make claims about a court's level of understanding about the internet and things technical, but he is far from an expert. He has filed multiple lawsuits against numerous individuals, businesses and corporations, such as the University of Pennsylvania and 50,000 John Does.
He has filed one lawsuit against multiple individuals, including myself (see www.ChewOnThis.Org for details), for two BILLION dollars, claiming public comment about his online behavior amounts to defamation, libel, tortious interference, interstate racketeering, copyright infringement, and numerous violation of federal statutes such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Mr. Parker has made documented claims that pointing a domain name to a website constitutes hosting the content on that website, that a domain owner controls any content at any website he points a domain name to, and that registering and pointing a domain name qualifies as a federal RICO violation (this is what he has alleged in my case). I look forward to final decision in Parker v. LTSC, Inc.

Thom E. Geiger
Domain name Owner, Ray-Gordon.com
Posted by Tgeiger (8 comments )
Link Flag
Umm
I hope that you are ultimately held responsible for all court costs and Google costs if you loose this.

Please also be aware that your comments on this forum are now being archived and cached aswell..does that mean you are going to sue C:net?

I like how you are more than willing to take 'free' advertising on this forum by posting your websites address in your commentary. Are you planing on paying for that or is it fair game when you use someones site and info (C:net) to promote your site...sounds like a familiar argument.

www.whattheheckisraysproblem.com
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Link Flag
Ray Gordon Comments On Lawsuit Dismissal
Just a few comments:

1. The amended complaint was filed in October 2004. The original judge in the case, James McGirr Kelly, died while presiding over the case in March 2005. Judge Kelly was more familiar with the facts that had been set forth in previous cases he had heard.

2. The judge likened Google to an ISP, which is okay when dealing with defamation, but for copyright infringement, what Google does is not the same thing as what AOL would do if I were, for example, to infringe copyright by e-mailing someone else a copy of a protected work. A true ISP is just a conduit for transmission. Google makes a wholly separate publication on its website, and uses that publication to generate advertising.

3. The defamation claim was dismissed due to immunity under 47 USC §230, which holds ISPs (and websites) immune for what their users do. Most courts have agreed with this, except for the California Superior Court, which ruled in Barrett v. Rosenthal that this immunity does not apply to "distributors" of defamation (the CA court did uphold publisher immunity). Barrett is currently before the CA Supreme Court, and if upheld, would mean that this exact same set of facts would prevail in California, and if the US Supreme Court were to uphold it, here as well. Congress may also revisit this immunity, given the potential for harm and how it makes libel law practically toothless on the internet. In Google's case, they take defamation from obscure places and serve it up to important people in the target's life, thereby causing most of the damage. Recently, a housing judge in NYC who was literally "put up for sale" on e-bay by a disgruntled litigant wondered "how can e-bay get away with this?" He should have asked his fellow justices!

I will be filing a motion for reconsideration and preparing to appeal this decision.

Ray Gordon, Author
The Seduction Library
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html</a>
Posted by RayGordon2006 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another Parker defendant comments
Mr. Parker is quick to make claims about a court's level of understanding about the internet and things technical, but he is far from an expert. He has filed multiple lawsuits against numerous individuals, businesses and corporations, such as the University of Pennsylvania and 50,000 John Does.
He has filed one lawsuit against multiple individuals, including myself (see www.ChewOnThis.Org for details), for two BILLION dollars, claiming public comment about his online behavior amounts to defamation, libel, tortious interference, interstate racketeering, copyright infringement, and numerous violation of federal statutes such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Mr. Parker has made documented claims that pointing a domain name to a website constitutes hosting the content on that website, that a domain owner controls any content at any website he points a domain name to, and that registering and pointing a domain name qualifies as a federal RICO violation (this is what he has alleged in my case). I look forward to final decision in Parker v. LTSC, Inc.

Thom E. Geiger
Domain name Owner, Ray-Gordon.com
Posted by Tgeiger (8 comments )
Link Flag
Umm
I hope that you are ultimately held responsible for all court costs and Google costs if you loose this.

Please also be aware that your comments on this forum are now being archived and cached aswell..does that mean you are going to sue C:net?

I like how you are more than willing to take 'free' advertising on this forum by posting your websites address in your commentary. Are you planing on paying for that or is it fair game when you use someones site and info (C:net) to promote your site...sounds like a familiar argument.

www.whattheheckisraysproblem.com
Posted by KsprayDad (375 comments )
Link Flag
Ray Gordon Comments On Lawsuit Dismissal
Just a few comments:

1. The amended complaint was filed in October 2004. The original judge in the case, James McGirr Kelly, died while presiding over the case in March 2005. Judge Kelly was more familiar with the facts that had been set forth in previous cases he had heard.

2. The judge likened Google to an ISP, which is okay when dealing with defamation, but for copyright infringement, what Google does is not the same thing as what AOL would do if I were, for example, to infringe copyright by e-mailing someone else a copy of a protected work. A true ISP is just a conduit for transmission. Google makes a wholly separate publication on its website, and uses that publication to generate advertising.

3. The defamation claim was dismissed due to immunity under 47 USC §230, which holds ISPs (and websites) immune for what their users do. Most courts have agreed with this, except for the California Superior Court, which ruled in Barrett v. Rosenthal that this immunity does not apply to "distributors" of defamation (the CA court did uphold publisher immunity). Barrett is currently before the CA Supreme Court, and if upheld, would mean that this exact same set of facts would prevail in California, and if the US Supreme Court were to uphold it, here as well. Congress may also revisit this immunity, given the potential for harm and how it makes libel law practically toothless on the internet. In Google's case, they take defamation from obscure places and serve it up to important people in the target's life, thereby causing most of the damage. Recently, a housing judge in NYC who was literally "put up for sale" on e-bay by a disgruntled litigant wondered "how can e-bay get away with this?" He should have asked his fellow justices!

I will be filing a motion for reconsideration and preparing to appeal this decision.

Ray Gordon, Author
The Seduction Library
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html</a>
Posted by RayGordon2006 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad idea
Especially on the defamation count - you want to hold google liable for displaying search results that are unfavorable to you? What's the solution - to have google look over every post before they index it? Bad, really bad.

The distinction between AOL and Google is also weak. Google isn't copying the information, they only have information where the copy is found. It would be like suing a newspaper for placing ads by unauthorized seller of your materials.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
A Public Statement
The information servers return in response to
user queries could be likened to what happens
when someone makes a statement in a public
context. That statement can be recorded and
repeated. There are instances where someone
might give a speech or right an article. In
these cases there is certainly a right to
content. If a performer performs on the street
there is some likelyhood that he may be recorded
and that the recording will in part or whole be
publicly available as the performance was. The
internet is a dynamic thing but there needs to
be some accountability in the form of site
tracking. Especially if liable and slander are
concern since investigators may not have any
other means of obtaining historical internet
documents.

The laws regarding copyright on the internet are
somewhat archaic and when a new one does come
along it tends to be reactionary. This is seen
in the instance of ftp server admins not being
responsible for the content that is provided.
This law was shelter for many p2p users who
where targeted by antipriacy legislation. There
is a difference between these two however, I
mean just using ftp does not make you innocent,
being unawares does.

Newsgroups have long been the internet
anticensorship paradigm. The retention on text
posts could easily be indefinite as they are
static media. The source is not (necessarily)
the same for one server to the next and old
posts could easily be reposted by users if not
automatically by the server. There are very
easy methods for posting content but none for
removing it. The only recourse that could
possibly solve this dilemma, unfortunately, is
for the poster to pay the full damage of the
defamation over the life of the post, as on all
servers, which would likely be 1000+ days.
Posted by vampares (39 comments )
Link Flag
A Public Statement
The information servers return in response to
user queries could be likened to what happens
when someone makes a statement in a public
context. That statement can be recorded and
repeated. There are instances where someone
might give a speech or right an article. In
these cases there is certainly a right to
content. If a performer performs on the street
there is some likelyhood that he may be recorded
and that the recording will in part or whole be
publicly available as the performance was. The
internet is a dynamic thing but there needs to
be some accountability in the form of site
tracking. Especially if liable and slander are
concern since investigators may not have any
other means of obtaining historical internet
documents.

The laws regarding copyright on the internet are
somewhat archaic and when a new one does come
along it tends to be reactionary. This is seen
in the instance of ftp server admins not being
responsible for the content that is provided.
This law was shelter for many p2p users who
where targeted by antipriacy legislation. There
is a difference between these two however, I
mean just using ftp does not make you innocent,
being unawares does.

Newsgroups have long been the internet
anticensorship paradigm. The retention on text
posts could easily be indefinite as they are
static media. The source is not (necessarily)
the same for one server to the next and old
posts could easily be reposted by users if not
automatically by the server. There are very
easy methods for posting content but none for
removing it. The only recourse that could
possibly solve this dilemma, unfortunately, is
for the poster to pay the full damage of the
defamation over the life of the post, as on all
servers, which would likely be 1000+ days.
Posted by vampares (39 comments )
Link Flag
Ray Gordon Comments On Lawsuit Dismissal
Just a few comments:

1. The amended complaint was filed in October 2004. The original judge in the case, James McGirr Kelly, died while presiding over the case in March 2005. Judge Kelly was more familiar with the facts that had been set forth in previous cases he had heard.

2. The judge likened Google to an ISP, which is okay when dealing with defamation, but for copyright infringement, what Google does is not the same thing as what AOL would do if I were, for example, to infringe copyright by e-mailing someone else a copy of a protected work. A true ISP is just a conduit for transmission. Google makes a wholly separate publication on its website, and uses that publication to generate advertising.

3. The defamation claim was dismissed due to immunity under 47 USC §230, which holds ISPs (and websites) immune for what their users do. Most courts have agreed with this, except for the California Superior Court, which ruled in Barrett v. Rosenthal that this immunity does not apply to "distributors" of defamation (the CA court did uphold publisher immunity). Barrett is currently before the CA Supreme Court, and if upheld, would mean that this exact same set of facts would prevail in California, and if the US Supreme Court were to uphold it, here as well. Congress may also revisit this immunity, given the potential for harm and how it makes libel law practically toothless on the internet. In Google's case, they take defamation from obscure places and serve it up to important people in the target's life, thereby causing most of the damage. Recently, a housing judge in NYC who was literally "put up for sale" on e-bay by a disgruntled litigant wondered "how can e-bay get away with this?" He should have asked his fellow justices!

I will be filing a motion for reconsideration and preparing to appeal this decision.

Ray Gordon, Author
The Seduction Library
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cybersheet.com/library.html</a>
Posted by RayGordon2006 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bad idea
Especially on the defamation count - you want to hold google liable for displaying search results that are unfavorable to you? What's the solution - to have google look over every post before they index it? Bad, really bad.

The distinction between AOL and Google is also weak. Google isn't copying the information, they only have information where the copy is found. It would be like suing a newspaper for placing ads by unauthorized seller of your materials.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
A Public Statement
The information servers return in response to
user queries could be likened to what happens
when someone makes a statement in a public
context. That statement can be recorded and
repeated. There are instances where someone
might give a speech or right an article. In
these cases there is certainly a right to
content. If a performer performs on the street
there is some likelyhood that he may be recorded
and that the recording will in part or whole be
publicly available as the performance was. The
internet is a dynamic thing but there needs to
be some accountability in the form of site
tracking. Especially if liable and slander are
concern since investigators may not have any
other means of obtaining historical internet
documents.

The laws regarding copyright on the internet are
somewhat archaic and when a new one does come
along it tends to be reactionary. This is seen
in the instance of ftp server admins not being
responsible for the content that is provided.
This law was shelter for many p2p users who
where targeted by antipriacy legislation. There
is a difference between these two however, I
mean just using ftp does not make you innocent,
being unawares does.

Newsgroups have long been the internet
anticensorship paradigm. The retention on text
posts could easily be indefinite as they are
static media. The source is not (necessarily)
the same for one server to the next and old
posts could easily be reposted by users if not
automatically by the server. There are very
easy methods for posting content but none for
removing it. The only recourse that could
possibly solve this dilemma, unfortunately, is
for the poster to pay the full damage of the
defamation over the life of the post, as on all
servers, which would likely be 1000+ days.
Posted by vampares (39 comments )
Link Flag
A Public Statement
The information servers return in response to
user queries could be likened to what happens
when someone makes a statement in a public
context. That statement can be recorded and
repeated. There are instances where someone
might give a speech or right an article. In
these cases there is certainly a right to
content. If a performer performs on the street
there is some likelyhood that he may be recorded
and that the recording will in part or whole be
publicly available as the performance was. The
internet is a dynamic thing but there needs to
be some accountability in the form of site
tracking. Especially if liable and slander are
concern since investigators may not have any
other means of obtaining historical internet
documents.

The laws regarding copyright on the internet are
somewhat archaic and when a new one does come
along it tends to be reactionary. This is seen
in the instance of ftp server admins not being
responsible for the content that is provided.
This law was shelter for many p2p users who
where targeted by antipriacy legislation. There
is a difference between these two however, I
mean just using ftp does not make you innocent,
being unawares does.

Newsgroups have long been the internet
anticensorship paradigm. The retention on text
posts could easily be indefinite as they are
static media. The source is not (necessarily)
the same for one server to the next and old
posts could easily be reposted by users if not
automatically by the server. There are very
easy methods for posting content but none for
removing it. The only recourse that could
possibly solve this dilemma, unfortunately, is
for the poster to pay the full damage of the
defamation over the life of the post, as on all
servers, which would likely be 1000+ days.
Posted by vampares (39 comments )
Link Flag
Gordon Roy Parker "Ray Gordon" USENET History
It is not surprising that Mr. Parker, who for some reason likes to sign himself "Ray Gordon" (and until recently as "Ray Gordon, GENIUS") is not fond of Google. Mr. Parker has been an infamous denzien of USENET for many years, and is angered that Google archives hold records of some his more notorious acts. Readers of this article would find a search of the USENET archives for "Ray Gordon", "Gordon Roy Parker, and "9/11 screed" to better understand how this lawsuit came about.
Posted by rufuszee (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can you...
Provide some links here so that he sues C|net, or better yet myself over inducement?
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Gordon Roy Parker "Ray Gordon" USENET History
It is not surprising that Mr. Parker, who for some reason likes to sign himself "Ray Gordon" (and until recently as "Ray Gordon, GENIUS") is not fond of Google. Mr. Parker has been an infamous denzien of USENET for many years, and is angered that Google archives hold records of some his more notorious acts. Readers of this article would find a search of the USENET archives for "Ray Gordon", "Gordon Roy Parker, and "9/11 screed" to better understand how this lawsuit came about.
Posted by rufuszee (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can you...
Provide some links here so that he sues C|net, or better yet myself over inducement?
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
Parker vs. LTSC II dismissed
2:05-cv-02752-HB PARKER v. LEARN THE SKILLS CORP. et al filed 06/09/05, has now been dismissed after the court agreed with defendants' jurisdictional objections.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT PAUL J. ROSS TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED. THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT LEARN THE SKILLS CORPORATION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED, THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT THOMAS E. GEIGER TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED, THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT,MATTHEW S. WOLF TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED IS GRANTED, THE MOTION DEFENDANT TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED IS GRANTED; AND THE MOTION OF PLAINTIFF GORDON ROY PARKER TO CONDUCT JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY AGAINST DEFENDANTS ROSS. LEARN THE SKILLS CORPOARTION AND GEIGER IS DENIED . SIGNED BY JUDGE HARVEY BARTLE III ON 3/23/06.3/23/06 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND E-MAILED. (mac, ) (Entered: 03/23/2006)

Thom E. Geiger
Domain Name Owner,
ChewOnThis.org
Ray-Gordon.com
Ray-Gordon.net
Posted by Tgeiger (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Parker vs. LTSC II dismissed
2:05-cv-02752-HB PARKER v. LEARN THE SKILLS CORP. et al filed 06/09/05, has now been dismissed after the court agreed with defendants' jurisdictional objections.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT PAUL J. ROSS TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED. THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT LEARN THE SKILLS CORPORATION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED, THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT THOMAS E. GEIGER TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION IS GRANTED, THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT,MATTHEW S. WOLF TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED IS GRANTED, THE MOTION DEFENDANT TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH RELIEF MAY BE GRANTED IS GRANTED; AND THE MOTION OF PLAINTIFF GORDON ROY PARKER TO CONDUCT JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY AGAINST DEFENDANTS ROSS. LEARN THE SKILLS CORPOARTION AND GEIGER IS DENIED . SIGNED BY JUDGE HARVEY BARTLE III ON 3/23/06.3/23/06 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND E-MAILED. (mac, ) (Entered: 03/23/2006)

Thom E. Geiger
Domain Name Owner,
ChewOnThis.org
Ray-Gordon.com
Ray-Gordon.net
Posted by Tgeiger (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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