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The Google Conundrum: Perpetrator or Facilitator on the Net? - Forging a Fair Copyright Framework of Rights, Liability and Responsibility in Response to Search Engine 2.0 - Part I: The Google Images Search Engine
Computer Law and Security Review
  • Warren B. CHIK, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Journal Article
Publication Date
4-2011
Abstract

Is Google in its quest for search engine optimization through the creation of new technologies, which not only improves its search algorithms but also refines its search functions for users, doing it in a manner that makes it a perpetrator of primary copyright infringement or an invaluable facilitator for Internet functionality? How should the balance of interests in the treatment of creative works be recalibrated in the face of changes in search engine technology and operations, and the disputes that have arisen within the last decade in the context of the digital age and its needs? Using Google as a case study, this paper will look at the two main areas of dispute over the operations of information locator tools and services that either threatens search engine functionality and efficiency or weakens copyright holders exclusive rights. It proposes a concerted set of solutions through a reassessment and amendment of copyright law to optimize the social benefits and objectives of both the copyright regime and technological innovations in the electronic model of information archiving, indexing and delivery. A fair distribution of responsibilities and allocation of rights and liabilities will be suggested. In the process, due consideration will be given to both public and private interests, with the former taking precedence; while the recommended solutions will be made within the currently outdated framework for Internet intermediary protection (i.e. safe harbor laws) and exceptions (i.e. specific statutory exemptions and the general fair use defense) under the existing copyright regime. Thus, the proposed changes will be far reaching without being too radical a departure from current law, an evolution that will likely be more acceptable and realistic a solution to the problem. This paper is published in two parts. Part One of this paper will deal with the challenges to the copyright regime posed by the operations and technology behind the Google Images Search Engine, while Part Two that will be published in the subsequent edition of the CLSR will assess the benefits of the Google Books Search Project vis vis the effects it will have on the scope of copyright protection. Recommendations are made to copyright law to accommodate both functions while generally preserving the main objectives of copyright protection. © 2011 Hogan Lovells. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords
  • Fair use,
  • Google,
  • Google books search project,
  • Google Video Search Engine,
  • Internet intermediaries regulation,
  • Safe harbor and DMCA
Discipline
Identifier
10.1016/j.clsr.2011.01.009
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright Owner and License
Author
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Additional URL
http://doi.org/10.1016/j.clsr.2011.01.009
Citation Information
Warren B. CHIK. "The Google Conundrum: Perpetrator or Facilitator on the Net? - Forging a Fair Copyright Framework of Rights, Liability and Responsibility in Response to Search Engine 2.0 - Part I: The Google Images Search Engine" Computer Law and Security Review Vol. 27 Iss. 2 (2011) p. 111 - 132 ISSN: 0267-3649
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/warren_chik/28/