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Search results suddenly missing from Google? Well, BLAME CANADA!

Anonymous Coward

It's ok to do no evil, internationally.

/sarcasm on:

We can trust Google, can't we?

Haven't we had enough cheap knockoffs like Linux

They finally got rid of that awful page, http://google.com/linux

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Anonymous Coward

Jeez, get a life.

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The next logical step for Google

So,presumably all Google need to do is go to some other country and get another court to rule that Google must present these search results internationally and all will be ok.

How do you get to be a judge but still be stupid enough to think your authority extends outside your little piece of dirt?

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Re: The next logical step for Google

You might want to ask our DoJ about that. So, that makes at least two of the 5EYE's pushing extra-territoriality judgements.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The next logical step for Google

How do you get to be a judge but still be stupid enough to think your authority extends outside your little piece of dirt?

Ah, a reference to the USA?

US Wire Fraud act, and how it relates to international communications?

The USA's self declared jurisdiction over all sites globally that have Web addresses not ending in a country code (.com, .net, .org), no matter which country the servers are actually in?

The USA's protectionist view on legitimate online gambling services operated by foreign companies and it's pursuit and jailing of the businessmen involved in running them?

Is that the kind of extra-territoriality you were referring to?

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Re: The next logical step for Google

People seem to think that the internet is sort of immune to national law, because it's global. And that's basically true. Unless you can get cooperation from other nations, there's always somewhere to hide a server and operate from.

However when you're as big as Google, that can easily stop being true. Google might be doing something the courts don't like in a third country. And mostly Google will get away with saying, that has nothing to do with you. But if Google have significant assets in a country, then that country's courts can go after Google there, to force them to do stuff elsewhere.

Something that's unlikely to be an effective tactic for say Vietnam or Tuvalu, who aren't that important to Google, but the EU, US and Canada are worth enough money to the bottom line that they can exercise some power over Google outside their borders. I seem to remember from a few years ago that Google's UK turnover was about £6 billion for example, which ought to mean the UK government and courts could make them jump if they wanted to enough.

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Re: The next logical step for Google

My dirt is connect to your dirt. It's worlds dirt and the minds connected by clear rules that the Canada rule iis thinking of. One for Canada.

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean...

we can expect demands from Saudi, Iran or North Korea for illegal (to them) content to be removed then?

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Re: Does this mean...

And next to them stands every single body on Earth with any regulatory power whatsoever. If Canada gets its way, all heck will break loose.

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Didn't the EU (or was it Germany?) already try this?

I thought they were trying to rule the "right to be forgotten" extended to google.com, not just country specific google.xx or geolocated results.

Same thing, same stupid idea.

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Re: Does this mean...

> demands from Saudi, Iran

Ironically bans on Canadian bacon and Canadian Club whisky adverts

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Re: Does this mean...

...all heck will break loose.

Doesn't sound too bad. Does it tickle?

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Re: Didn't the EU (or was it Germany?) already try this?

Removing a result from google.com accessed from Germany where this laws applies is different to removing a result from google.com wherever it is accessed.

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Re: Does this mean...

The court has said, if it infringes other laws, they will reconsider the scope, such as freedom of speech.

However, I don't see freedom of speech being an issue in selling counterfeit products. This is something that the police cross-nationality cooperate on anyway.

The only "hope" Google has, is that selling counterfeit goods is not illegal somewhere and to get that court to rescind the order. Either way, it doesn't look good for Google.

If they don't react, they will be accused of censorship, which is here not the case. If they do react, they will be accused of aiding and abetting counterfeiters - which could possibly be argued already, as they take advertising for counterfeit and illegal products (whether with foreknowledge or not).

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Angel

Re: Does this mean...

All hail the Prince of Insufficient Light!

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Re: Does this mean...

Now that we Canadians are firmly in control of what Google can and can't show as search results I expect to see all pages where hockey is referred to as "Ice Hockey" are removed, as are all pages where field hockey is referred to as "hockey".

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Re: Does this mean...

Yes. Canada has a legit greavence. Google lawyers in North Korea? Con ignor.

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Re: Does this mean...

True north strong and free and logical too. Googles argument is theory. Canada Supreme Court is factual.

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Re: Does this mean...

...all heck will break loose.

Doesn't sound too bad. Does it tickle?"

Ask Phil.

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Shootout at the OK court

At some point the transnational companies are just going to have to challenge all the authorities together to find a workable common sense solution.

My feeling is it would be a wonderful gesture (how many fingers?) for Google to say - okay, now searches for horse products will result in displaying only "Sorry, Canada says no".

That will give people a starting point for discussion. I could not predict where the discussions would end up, or when.

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Re: Shootout at the OK court

So, you are saying that it is okay for Google to aid and abet criminal activity, because they are a multi-national? Good to know.

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Re: Shootout at the OK court

You are assuming that the company name and trademarks are registered in all countries around the world.

In theory, if a company name is not protected by an international trademark, it could be used by another company in a country that does not recognize the mark,

In this case, Google preventing other trading bodies outside Canada from using the perfectly legitimate in their own country company name would be adversely affecting that other party.

International trademarks and copyrights are a real minefield when the Internet is Global.

Does the WTO register trademarks worldwide?

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Re: Shootout at the OK court

There's the WIPO for making international registrations. Simplifies applications for trademark protection in 114 countries under the "Madrid System"

China is a member, so is North Korea

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Terminator

Be Evil!

This is what happens when the boss decides Evil is Smart.

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"Essentially, the Supreme Court [of Canada] insists it can dictate which stuff the Mountain View [California, USA] internet goliath can and can't link to."

Ahem -- enforcement may prove to be a wee bit problematic. Overreach, perhaps?

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Enforcement is easy enough. Fine Google. Or if Google takes its corporate presence outside of Canada, pass a law banning Canadian companies from using their advertising services and fine them.

The ad boycott that started in Europe caused Google to lose cash. That's when they started paying attention. It became immoral to advertise on Google, something advertisers don't like, so they withdrew their accounts.

Imagine if it also became illegal?

The world's legal systems haven't really even begun to catch up with the implications of dominant global online services. In the meantime Google especially (and a few others) are making a ton of what could be described as dodgy money. The Europeans are more active at working out whether what they're doing is actually legal and openly competitive, and increasingly they're finding against Google.

Now Google is a wealthy company and should be able to anticipate some of these rulings. They know they're the dominant player, and consequently it is inevitable that some of their website features will attract attention. Now they have to explain to their shareholders why their American style business strategy was the best one to use globally. It wasn't, it's costing shareholders money, and it looks like it's going to get worse.

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Anonymous Coward

""Essentially, the Supreme Court [of Canada] insists it can dictate which stuff the Mountain View [California, USA] internet goliath can and can't link to.""

Why not? US courts have tried to take jurisdiction over data stored in Ireland?

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So in another jurisdiction one of the alleged knock-off products claims its products are legit, gets a judgement to that effect & demands that Google display its results world-wide. What does Canada do then?

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The question is, what does Google do? Remember that Google provide search to us mere mortals in order to show us adverts, paid for by companies. Most of that ad spending comes from honking great international companies, who also don't like fake products.

This is an area where because there's no single government, there's unlikely to be any single law. So Goolge will do what it can to make as much money as it can, and accept as little legal oversight as it can get away with. However if it takes the piss too much out of its real customers (the global advertisers who pay it something like $100 billion a year) then it might find the bottom line suffers.

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I ain't Spartacus - " So Goolge will do what it can to make as much money as it can, and accept as little legal oversight as it can get away with."

Isn't that what they did BEFORE the ruling anyway? So, no change.

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Here's the rub. Us world dominated companies are making the laws to suit themselves or avoiding them wholesale. Canada's ruling is another wake up call for world government. Eventually laws will need to be world wide just as companies are world wide. We live on the same dirt in the vastness of space.

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Ahem

American groups like the MPAA etc have been claiming extra-territorial control for decades. Remember when the Pirate Bay used to laugh with glee at takedown notices from US lawyers?

With respect to this case, I'd be asking, but can't bother to find out, if there isn't some treaty provision to support this decision.

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Copyright

If these products infringe copyright in Canada, it's likely they infringe worldwide.

See Berne Convention and later UN conventions on copyright.

I agree RIAA/MPAA tactics and the USA Millennium copyright act break international law and are morally wrong.

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Pirate

Re: Ahem

Indeed.

Like google, thepiratebay is a search engine.

Google provides hyperlinks, thepiratebay provides magnetlinks: both are just pointers to pirated content, not the pirated content itself (which is not hosted on the search engine).

If thepiratebay must obey "international law" then so does google!

What? Just because they are rich they should be above the law?

Fuck google.

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Compromise

If Canada agrees to take Bieber back, well - I think we can work something out.

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Devil

Re: Compromise

I believe the Canadian army was only showing the qualities of its snipers last week. Sure the world would be grateful if Canada took back Celine Dion and Justin Bieber. But should they not wish to suffer themselves, I'm sure they can work out other accepable solutions...

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Devil

Re: Compromise

Compromise: Use Celine Dion and Justin Bieber to train more excellent Canadian snipers!!

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Stop

Damned pushy Canucks!

Next thing you know, the Great White North will be insisting that Thanksgiving isn't on the fourth Thursday in November, and that every supermarket has a whole aisle devoted to maple syrup!

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Re: Damned pushy Canucks!

Yes and we salute you with the raised central finger as we sing Stand on guard for thee.lol

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Damned pushy Canucks!

Actually, in Canada,Thanksgiving is a month earlier than in the US. It's part of our global conspiracy to get the best turkey.

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JohnnyS777

What are you talking about "animal care products"? Equustek does high end electronics:

"Since 1988 Equustek has been specializing in the manufacture and design of gateways, bridges, and custom protocol conversion communication products that will allow you complete system integration. They allow industrial automation equipment the ability to exchange data over popular industrial networks." Where do you get animal care products from THAT???

I'm sure that if Boeing found out that some villain had ripped off all their aircraft designs and was selling identical versions of the stolen Boeing aircraft in direct competition with Boeing, Boeing would have NO PROBLEM asking Google to remove the links for the villains' sites, especially if Boeing had already obtained legal injunctions against the villain.

Or how about if Jaguar found out that some villain had stolen all their designs and research and was selling perfect copies of their latest cars at a lower price because they avoided paying for the development, design and research? Wouldn't removing the search responses from the worlds largest search engine that point to the villain's websites be a just and reasonable move?

That's all that Equustek has done here: These villains are criminals and they need to be brought to justice. This is just a part of the process.

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Happy

Re: JohnnyS777

Looks like somebody joined just to plug their company's point of view! Welcome, JohnnyS777!

That Title box above the comment area is for putting a relevant title to your post, not for repeating your handle.

Your arguments about Boeing and Jaguar are speculative and without merit, but to answer them anyway, I'd expect Boeing or Jaguar to pursue the case in all relevant jurisdictions, not to presume a single nation can dictate global activity with impunity.

The question at hand is whether a local judge has jurisdiction beyond their nation's sovereign borders. Do you believe that to be the case?

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Holmes

Re: JohnnyS777

Oh yeah, and if you don't want to be associated with animal care products, especially by a site known to take tech companies less than seriously, you may want to rethink your company's name -- it's amazing how many people know just enough Latin...

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Trollface

Re: JohnnyS777

I'm pretty sure that Google would take down any Boeing rip-off "voluntarily".

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: JohnnyS777

> What are you talking about "animal care products"? Equustek does high end electronics

Hmmm, OK. Fixed. We're investigating how this happened.

Edit: A company name mix up (there's an Equustock that does animal care products. The name was corrected during editing but not the product type, oops. It was quickly fixed.)

C.

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Re: JohnnyS777

Offtopic, but you're again demonstrating why El Reg remains a beacon of journalistic integrity in an online quagmire of incompetence and special interest.

Everybody makes mistakes, it's how they're handled afterwards..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: JohnnyS777

"Everybody makes mistakes, it's how they're handled afterwards.."

I know - imagine if some TV news network ran a story without a "breaking news, needs clarification"-type of warning, but then withdraws it. Some journos even leave over the incident.

You'd have to be a real idiot to trump on about the entire organisation being a failure because of one mistake that was quickly corrected

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Re: JohnnyS777

Thanks for following up.

Just FYI: I am not affiliated with Equustek in any way.

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Bronze badge

Turnabout is fair play.

I welcome this ruling, because discussion about it will start discussion about extraterritoriality. USA arrogates its laws in many fields and jurisdictions, including inside Canada. The discussion might not come to anything because they pwn nukes and all your data. But oh well.

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Silver badge

Isn't porn illegal in China? Really allowing one country to dictate what is allowed internationally is a very very bad thing.

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