Google censorship of xenu.com domain

Gordon Mohr gojomo@usa.net
Sat, 23 Mar 2002 13:31:28 -0800


Robert Harley writes:
> Gordon Mohr (gojomo@usa.net) wrote:
> >> 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 letter he got from Google:
> 
> >As stated in section 512(g) (3), the contents of this notification
> >must include the following:
> >
> >[...] a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of
> >Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is
> >located, or if the subscriber's address is outside of the United States,
> >for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found [...]

OK, thank you. Now I understand why he fears filing the 
counter-notification.

I would still read this section as merely meaning "consents
to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court" FOR THE PURPOSES
OF THIS DISPUTE, not over all his behavior. 

And whether he consents or not, since it is Google's actions 
which are at issue, there is no avoiding U.S. jurisdiction on that 
matter. The only way to help Google do the right thing within
the law is fight for their right in U.S. court. Even if Mr. 
Heldal-Lund chooses never to set foot in the USA, sending the 
counter-notification is the first step. 

He could also try sending the counter-notification without an
explicit consent to jurisdiction, or with a consent that is
subtly qualified. The statute interestingly reads "includes 
_substantially_ the following" (emphasis mine) when listing the 
"consent" section, rather than "exactly" the following. In so 
doing, he might allow exactly the problem part of the law
to be tested.

> If Google happened to have servers in Singapore or Peking or wherever
> and the Church of Scientology "notified" them under a DMCA-like law
> there, should he submit to their courts at the risk of being flogged
> or sent to labour camp or something?

There is no such risk to sending a letter, even if dealing with
such courts.

All that CoS has done in this matter so far is sent a letter, nothing 
more. If the operator of Xenu.net, wanting it indexed in Google, 
can't even be bothered to match one legal letter with another legal 
letter, why does he have any right to complain? 

I think time and process will show Google has the right, under
U.S. law, to index and link-to almost all of Xenu.net, and that
the original complaint was abusive. But if you want the laws and
courts to recognize that, you have to put your arguments in the
game at the right time and right way. 

The CoS is wrong. This portion of the law might be wrong. (Other
parts of the DMCA are definitely wrong, but this dispute-resolution
process is actually better than the vague confusion about carrier
liability that preceded it.)

But Google's not wrong until Xenu.net lifts a finger to help them.

- Gordon