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February 22, 2006

Judge rules against Google. Is Amazon next?

Posted by Kim Peterson at 11:53 AM

This ruling could have some interesting implications across the Web. A Los Angeles federal judge said Friday that Google probably violates copyright law by showing certain thumbnail images on its image search site. Amazon.com may be affected as well.

Perfect 10, an adult magazine and Web site publisher, sued Google and Amazon to stop the companies from displaying thumbnail copies of its copyrighted images on Web search results. Amazon is in the Web search business through its A9.com subsidiary. CNet.com has a copy of the ruling linked to its story.

U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz said he would grant a preliminary injunction against Google. He's ruling separately on the Amazon side of the case, but that ruling doesn't seem to be out yet. Amazon licenses from Google the technology that Perfect 10 is challenging.

Update: Yesterday, Matz denied a request for a preliminary injunction against Amazon, saying that it merely links to Google's thumbnails and doesn't store or serve the images itself.

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