November 30, 2011, 11:56 AM —
A Nevada judge, siding with Chanel in counterfeit cases, has ordered major search engines and social media sites to "de-index" hundreds of domain names, and awarded those names to Chanel.
Everyone knows luxury goods are illegally copied (dialog in many TV shows and movies based in New York: "Look, a Chanel bag for ten dollars! I'll take two."), but have courts completely forgotten about due process when the Internet is involved? Chanel "investigated" counterfeit-dealing websites by buying three products that were deemed illegal copies from three sites. After a Web search, Chanel added 225 more names in their most recent filing. The same Nevada judge that approved the seizure of almost 700 website names earlier then ordered the 228 names seized. Going further, Google, Facebook, Google+, Bing, and Yahoo were ordered to remove those names from any future search results.
So a judge in Nevada now controls the global Domain Name System? Can courts use such flimsy evidence to demand search results be unilaterally doctored? It appears that waiting for Congress to enact draconian new Internet law (SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act) is too slow, so intellectual property owners are going to the courts. And at least a few US judges have no clue how the Internet works.
This is amazing... and just like that, bye bye freedom!
Killwize on arstechnica.com
How can a judge possibly be so daft as to put a judgement against companies not even party to the lawsuit? If we find out these counterfeit goods are also coming over from China, should we tell UPS and FedEx they can no longer fly planes out of there?
stellar678 on news.ycombinator.com
Time for civil disobedience
The countdown to an alternate DNS hierarchy based outside the US can now begin. How long before there are court order for US ISPs to block it?
Matty on arstechnica.com
Controlling the Internet
This is insane. Google and the other search engines aren't a party in this case -- how can the judge command them to do anything if they haven't broken the law or violated a regulation?
DyDx on arstechnica.com
Why wouldn't they at least redirect the bad URLs to Chanel's real site? That would make sense and be less work all around.
ronelson on arstechnica.com
Practically, this ruling won't have much effect. There's a team of people at Google already dedicated to removing results like these from the index, as they aren't that great for users.
kevinburke on news.ycombinator.com
What's the over / under for the time it takes for the legal system to catch up to global networking? 50 years?