Perfect 10 Comes Out Swinging at Google Again

    December 2, 2009
    Chris Crum

Those who have been following the search industry for some time, may recall that Google had some legal issues with the (former) magazine Perfect 10 (nsfw). The company, which ceased publication of its magazine, but still operates on the web, has issued a press release saying that its five year battle with the search giant is "about to heat up."

This week, Perfect 10 completed its filing of a motion for sanctions against Google in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Perfect 10 is accusing Google of "widespread discovery abuse," which the company says includes multiple violations of three separate court orders.

Perfect 10Perfect 10’s legal feud with Google began back in 2004. The case dealt with Google’s use of thumbnails from Perfect 10’s site. It was essentially a question of whether or not that was considered fair use. Google had eventually lost the case, but the ruling against Google had been tossed out by an appeals panel. That was in 2007. However, it did not end there. Fast forward to now.

"Google appears to have the view that it is above the law," says Perfect 10 President, Dr. Norm Zada. "We spent a great deal of time and effort obtaining Court orders requiring Google to produce documents critical to our case. In our view, Google has not complied with those orders."

Perfect 10 says the case revolves around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which was passed by Congress in 1998 to address issues concerning copyright infringement on the Internet.

"Under the DMCA, a search engine such as Google may receive limited immunity from monetary damages for copyright infringement if it complies with the requirements of the DMCA," Zada says. "The search engine must act expeditiously to remove or disable access to infringing material upon receiving notice of infringement from the copyright owner, and it must adopt a procedure so that copyright holders will not have to provide the search engine with notices about the same infringing material or the same infringers over and over."

Perfect 10 says it has argued that Google has "failed to satisfy" these things. Perfect 10 says a judge ordered Google to produce its DMCA log, which the company says is defined as "a spreadsheet-type document summarizing DMCA notices received, the identity of the notifying party and the accused infringer, and the actions (if any) taken in response."

Perfect 10 is insisting in its press release that Google has violated multiple court orders, and that Perfect 10 can’t "fairly litigate the case" without such documents. 

Perfect 10’s  motion for sanctions against Google is currently set for hearing on December 21. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Perfect 10 hasn’t had the best of luck in the past.

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