Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Sunday, September 07, 2003
The Googleplex: Tyrrany or Tricksie?

News.com.au reported recently that Google had been forced by Sharman Networks (the makers of peer-2-peer KaZaA Media Desktop) to remove references to an illegal hack version of KaZaA (KaZaA Lite) which took out all the spyware/advertising material. At first glance, this is very, very bad. As soon as Google can be censored, the web starts to change shape in disturbing ways (and, yes, Google's owners have always had this ability, outside agents litigating for Google's censorship is another level altogether). Searching for KaZaA Lite now returns editted results and the disclaimer (as of 7th Sept 2003):
In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 14 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint for these removed results.
As you can see from the original complaint, Sharman Networks has requested specific sites blocks. KaZaA Lite, however, now resides at a different address and the first result in Google's search points exactly where Sharman Networks wishes it wouldn't: KaZaA Lite's new homepage. So, after all that angst, nothing has really been acheived because the KaZaA Lite folk can change their address in a matter of hours, get re-listed in Google, and be pretty much unscathed by the whole debacle. It is possible Sharman Networks will demand more algorithmic censorship, but for the time being, score one the the tricksters!

(Thanks to Jo Gray for sending me the original article about Google being censored).

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