Another legal blow for Google is reported by Crescent News. The search engine has lost a Californian copyright case at the preliminary injunction stage. At issue were the thumbnail images that Google provides as part of its “image search” service. Perfect 10, a pornographic magazine, convinced Judge Matz that displaying these images could be classed as infringement. However, its claim that Google was also liable for secondary infringement if users clicked on the thumbnail images, which took users to the full-sized image as hosted on the copyright owner’s website did not have a sufficient likelihood of success at trial to serve as the basis of a preliminary injunction. The case will go to trial at an unspecified time in the future.
The IPKat is a great fan of the Google image search but can see why reproducing someone else’s copyright works would be classed as infringement.