From Red Herring.
Perfect 10 claims Google gives it away
A purveyor of pornography alleges that Google allows users to steal its smut.
November 20, 2004
Perfect 10, a publisher of an adult entertainment web site and magazine, on Friday filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search engine giant provided Internet users with at least 800,000 unauthorized links to images of Perfect 10’s nude models, stealing membership fees and advertising revenue from the Los Angeles publisher. The lawsuit is one of the first of its kind against Google.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles county, claims that Google committed 12 counts of intellectual property violations against Perfect 10 magazine and the web site, Perfect10.com.
Perfect 10 claims in the suit that Google’s violation “is devastating to and threatens the existence of Perfect 10’s business.” The publisher’s attorneys want a jury trial.
Most of the violations alleged by Perfect 10 are copyright claims. The suit states that Google’s search results pull up photos of nude female models that belong to Perfect 10. These search results, according to the suit, constitute an infringement. Google’s search picks up the photos from other Internet locations, which are described in the lawsuit as “stolen content sites,” or web sites that steal images and allow Internet users to avoid paying subscription or membership fees for members-only pornography web sites. Perfect10.com charges $25.50 per month and counts 100,000 visitors per month.
Shouldnt the TradeMark owner be entitled to some of the fees it generates from search engine inquiries? Or better yet, shouldnt there be a way that a user could be directly connected to Perfect 10?
According to the suit, because Google profits from the misdeeds of others on the web, it is legally and financially responsible for the alleged violations.
Perfect 10 wants Google to pay for violating the rights of its nude models, who gain publicity through the Perfect 10 web site and magazine. Google’s other violations, according to the suit, include trademark dilution, wrongful use of a registered trademark, and unfair competition.