Google Loses Case on Image Thumbnails Display; Mobile Plays Role


This is pretty significant in the scheme of things: A federal judge has ruled that portions of Google’s image search, which displays small thumbnail versions of images found on other sites, likely violate U.S. copyright law, reports

U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz ruled that Perfect 10, an adult site, has shown that Google image search probably infringes copyright law “by creating and displaying thumbnail copies of its photographs.” Perfect 10 will get a preliminary injunction against Google, and lawyers for both sides have until March 8 to propose the injunction’s wording.

Google said that it plans to appeal the injunction.

This part is very interesting: The judge noted that Google’s mobile picture search had a role in this ruling: Google Mobile’s image search option permits handheld devices to perform the identical search of more than 2 billion images, then save the scaled-down images for future reference. Those scaled-down images are similar to what Perfect 10 offers as a subscription service through U.K.-based Fonestarz and could, the court ruled, harm the market for Perfect 10’s subscription-based image sales.

The PDF of the full ruling is available from site here

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