Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 220.127.116.11
Forum Moderators: open
I think this case is about whether a search engine is facilitating copyright infringement when it attempts to make money by (a) giving its users a list of websites that infringe copyrights and (b) giving its users a list of websites that give usernames and passwords. In fact, it might even be argued that a search engine gives out passwords, itself, by offering website snippets (i.e., you type in a search term and the data you're looking for appear in the search result snippet such that you don't even have to go visit the page; I do this to find phone numbers for local restaurants).
An analogy might be Kazaa (or any other file sharing network) which does not, in itself, violate copyrights but which does facilitate copyright infringement. A more clear-cut example might be credit card information. Would a search engine remove from its index a website that lists names and credit card numbers? If so, why wouldn't it also remove lists of usernames and passwords?
Having said that, however, maybe this is about caching, also, since if a search engine's cache contains information that is a violation of copyright, I can see a company wanting to sue to get that page removed from public access.
The other issue, I believe, is whether a search engine is legally required to remove websites from its index when it's been notified that the website in question is in violation of the DMCA or other law.
But an even bigger difference is that everyone involved in the case would understand that the vast majority of the traffic on google has absolutely noting to do with copyright infringement. The judge and all the lawyers will have all used it on a daily basis to research cases and do christmas shopping.
On the other hand, even though kazaa has some non-infringing uses, everyone in the world knows that the majority of the traffic on it is related to distibuting copyrighted material without permission (though in some cases, i.e. Canada, it is still not infringement)
And all those people that use google daily, such as judges and legislators, will make sure that search engines are not shut down, or even greatly hampered by something like this. They will not go out of their way to protect "cached" but they will write search engines in as the equivalent of common carriers if they have to.