Friday 3 June 2011 in breach of copyright

A website called Plus Pets is in breach of copyright and Google has helped to stop the website owners taking advantage of it. It is a good example of how Google is now more concerned about and aware of the rampant breaches of copyright that are taking place on the internet on a daily basis.

Google is naturally concerned that unless it does something about the problem of violations of people's intellectual property rights as the premier power on the internet then one day the governments will step in and create an international body that regulates the internet. There is a good argument that it does need to be regulated by an impartial, international body that is not driven by commercial gain.

At the moment though I am very pleased with the help offered by Google under their copyright complaints procedure.

Google cannot delete offending pages unless it is a Google Blogger account. But it can blacklist the offending page. What I mean it can delist it from search results which is the same as burying it under a pile of billions of webpages - the offending page becomes invisible. Of course Yahoo and the other search engines can still find and list it but Google is the dominant force in search enquiries on the internet.

In this instance Plus Pets had blatantly used copyrighted material from my website. The images copied were by Helmi Flick a well known international cat photographer of considerable repute.

In fact they copied and republished other photographs by other photographers too but I have no authority to act on behalf of the these photographers and so cannot make a complaint to Google for them.

I won't link to the offending page as that would undermine the process! Google also make a record of the complaint on a website:, which is a public website.

This is the page on Chilling Effects where my complaint is recorded and which was upheld. I have made many more complaints and they are all acted upon.

People who violate copyright are irresponsible in their behavior. If it were allowed to go on unabated ultimately the internet would break down and become a place that could not be trusted.

The internet is a wonderfully useful facility but its integrity must be protected in order to foster long term growth.

Michael Avatar

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