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The Weekly Blague

Don't Be Evil*

*But destroy anybody who gets in your way.

The absurd Google slogan, "Don’t be evil," needed to be properly annotated, and I've done so above, bringing it more in line with reality.

As regular readers of this blog know, the other week I suggested that Google's search engine was a fraudulent device that directed people to sites that carried Google ads rather than to sites that had the best information. My evidence was anecdotal, based on the fact that last October, Google stopped directing traffic to this site, even though robertrosennyc.com is the best site on the web for information about porn star Missy Manners and her connection to anti-porn senator Orrin Hatch. For years, sometimes as much as one third of my daily traffic came from those search terms.

In another post, I wrote about pre-selected keywords, and how the Google advanced search function, which used to be able to find anything on this site, will now only find results that contain those pre-selected keywords.

Today I’d like to offer another theory about why Google is doing whatever it is they’re doing: robertrosennyc.com is hosted by the Authors Guild, and the Guild, in 2005, filed a class action suit against Google for their Book Search project. According to the Guild, Google was committing copyright infringement by scanning books that were still under copyright protection. Google, of course, disagreed, insisting that what they were doing was “fair use” under U.S. copyright law. In 2008, a settlement was announced: Google would payout $125 million, with $45 million going to authors whose books were scanned without permission. In 2011, Judge Denny Chin, of U.S. district court in Manhattan, rejected the settlement, because, said Chin, it would allow Google to “exploit” books without the permission of the copyright holders. And there the matter stands, still unresolved. Authors have not received a penny, but Google has to cool it with their book scanning, until the matter is resolved.

So, then, is Google not directing traffic to this site because it’s hosted by the Authors Guild; the Guild has, for the time being, stopped Google from exploiting authors with their Book Search project; and now the internet giant is determined to punish the Guild and its members in any way they can?

Makes as much sense as anything else you can say about Google.

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