Google censorship of domain [#201159]

Gordon Mohr
Sat, 23 Mar 2002 00:13:12 -0800

Jon O. writes:
> Counter-notification == subject to US law:

Repetition is not proof!

Yes, Mr. Heldal-Lund has been saying this same thing to
anyone who will listen, and it's been reported in multiple
places, but I haven't seen his rationale for believing it.

>From the article:
> ``In the DMCA, to file a counter-claim or notification I need to submit to American jurisdiction and I can't do that,''
Heldal-Lund told Reuters. The Church ``could file a case against me in America, and I can't travel all the way over there for

The Church can file a case against him here anyway. I've
seen no legal reasoning to support Mr Heldal-Lund's
belief that filing the counter-notification makes him
any more subject to U.S. law than he already is.

In particular, it's not his site that's directly at issue.
It is his site's indexing entries inside Google. There
can be no doubt that Google is under U.S. jurisdiction,
and so if you want to help Google index your site, you
should take advantage of the American law that helps you
do that. (This specific notification/counter-notification
process, with its safe-harbor for ISPs/indexers/cachers
who act in good faith, can actually be viewed as one thing
the DMCA did *right*.)

> ``I live in Norway under Norwegian law. The servers are in Norway and Holland,'' he said. ``According to the laws, how I
understand them, I'm not breaking any laws. It's fair use. If a Norwegian court tells me I'm in breach of the law, I'll comply.''

Of course he's right on this matter -- but again, the
exact matter at hand is not his site, but Google's index
of his site. (As he notes later in the article, the CoS
has never sought action via Norwegian courts to alter
his sites.)

Unless he's got crackerjack lawyers advising him otherwise,
he should at least send the perfunctory counter-notification
so that the ball is in CoS's court, and his U.S. sympathizers
(probably including key people at Google) have the cover they
need to reinstate the rest of his site.

- Gordon