It seems that that Perfect 10 which is a former publisher of smut has decided that they will try to sue everyone. Hey, it keeps the overhead down (since your only employee is a low life lawyer or two) and if you hit it big (pathetic pun completely unintended) you can hit the jackpot and ride off into the sunset with your unearned earnings. Nice story, huh?
Well, fortunately it looks like cooler legal heads are prevailing. A Google victory has been upheld in this process (at least in one court) and the implications for others, including the likes of Pinterest, could be wide ranging. Mike Masnick of techdirt reports
The lawsuit against Google for showing thumbnails has bounced around for years, with the appeals court saying that showing those thumbnails is fair use — something those freaking out about Pinterest might want to keep in mind. As it’s done before, the Supreme Court has (once again) rejected one of Perfect 10’s appeals, meaning that the (strong) lower court ruling stands. Yes, technically, it only applies in the 9th Circuit, but this ruling seems to be one that other courts are willing to cite and use, so hopefully the precedent is considered more widespread. While it would have been nice to have a Supreme Court ruling smacking down Perfect 10 and making such a clear fair use ruling apply across the board, for now we’ll be happy with just keeping the good 9th Circuit ruling in place.
We are in a ridiculously litigious society as it is and the Internet with its Wild West nature is allowing that mindset to run, well, wild. Unfortunately, the results aren’t like this one often enough thus encouraging this kind of bottom-feeding practice to continue.
As for Perfect 10’s continued efforts? Masnick has this to say
To be honest, in the long run, Perfect 10 may have done a lot of good in presenting cases that highlight the clear insanity of certain interpretations of copyright law, providing strong and clear precedents from court rulings that have been tremendously useful in other cases.
Always look on the bright side, right?