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5/17/2007
  Google Allowed Fair Use of Porn Thumbnails

In a rather important case testing fair use, and aggregation on the internet, Google has won a decision allowing them to use thumbnails of copyrighted images.

Timothy Lee at arstechica calls it a "partial victory."

Terry Heaton says the decision "strengthens aggregators":

The appeals court overturned a district court ruling, and while there are still other issues to be resolved, this decision adds considerable weight to case law that strengthens the position of web-based aggregators.

In the decision, the court wrote that there’s no doubt the display of such images is a direct infringement but concluded that the use of the images meets the standards required for fair use. Thus, they overturned an injunction against Google issued by the district court.

I'm not the biggest follower of the legal issues around copyright, but I think it's clear that if Google lost this one, it'd have a big impact on both legitimate search usage, and on spammers / sploggers (even though they clearly don't have the same amount of public benefit as Google relied on in this ruling).

So keep 'on aggregatin'

PS. In other internet/porn-related news, the domain "porn.com" sold for over $9.5M. Man, I wish I had that time masheen perfected.

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