Google May Have To Start Censoring Search Results In France

    July 18, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

The entertainment industry has a bone to pick with Google. They feel that the search engine directly aids in helping people pirate content on the Web. While there are some legitimately good ideas out there to compete with piracy, the entertainment industry seems content with just censoring the Web.

A future of Google censorship may be coming to France soon as the country’s Supreme Court recently ruled that Google can be required to censor search terms for words like “Torrent,” “RapidShare,” and “Megaupload.” The ban would see these words and others not return anything in Instant or Autocomplete searches.

Music industry group SNEP lost its two previous battles with Google at the lower court levels. It’s a surprise then that the Supreme Court would rule with SNEP instead. According to TorrentFreak, the Supreme Court used an article in the Intellectual Property Code that “allows courts to take almost any emergency measure to protect rightsholders.”

The court did say, however, that Google isn’t accountable for any piracy that may take place on the Web. They just feel that the search engine should make it harder for people to discover said content on the Web.

Google will be taking the case before the Appeals Court now for a final verdict. If the Appeals Court rules in SNEP’s favor, it could set a disastrous precedent in France and courts around Europe. European courts already feel that it’s perfectly fine to block Web sites on the IP level, but censoring search results is a whole new can of worms. It’s a slippery slope that could lead Europe to becoming more like China, a country that bans search results that put the state in a bad light.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the Appeals Court decides this case. We’ll keep you updated on any further developments.

  • Shay

    And we should tear up the roads to stop people from stealing cars.

  • http://www.snakeman.com.au Snakeman

    Well the business name snake man is a registered trademark and we make sure the bootleggers of our intellectual property do not use black hat SEO to rip off our clients. In May 2011, we closed down over 800 youtube channels that were sending weblinks and traffic to a bootlegger.
    Now if people don’t want censorship of the web, then they should start abiding by the rules!
    Yours Sincerely
    Snake Man Raymond Hoser

  • http://www.traghettosardegna.eu Traghetto sardegna

    The entertainment industry is suppose to look for Megaupload illegal accounts and ask to close them instead of trying to stop search engines from indexing these contents.

  • Perhaps

    We should look to bankrupt the IP industry. Boycott Hollywood movies and put these evil people out of business. We have to take action or we will lose our freedom for their profits.

    This will cause some disruption to “stars”, but we don’t owe them a living where this costs us liberty.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Kevin

    Search should not be censored, its already bad enough spitting out results that fill the correct criteria.

    Google wont mind the court action as it can then apply greater controls on the output thereby legitimizing algorithms. Why change such a fantastic product?

  • Chris

    Ironical, when you consider that google has struck a deal with the French Bibliothèque Nationale (National Library) to electronically publish every French language book. Without consulting editors and copyright holders!