Federal judge orders hundreds of sites removed from search engines

Ars Technica reports that a federal judge in Nevada has ruled that Chanel, maker of fragrances and other luxury goods, can seize domains of websites selling counterfeits of its products and have them all transferred to GoDaddy. In addition to this, the judge ordered that "all Internet search engines" and "all social media websites" must de-index the domain names and remove them from search results - which is about as close to erasing them from the Internet as you can get.

The order comes from United States District Court Judge Kent Dawson of the District of Nevada. The search engines and social media websites named by Dawson to de-index the offending domains are Bing, Facebook, Google, Google+, Twitter and Yahoo!. Of course, "all Internet search engines" and "all social media websites" is quite a bit broader than that. As of now, it does not appear that Bing or Google have complied with this order yet.

The sites were targeted by Chanel after the company hired a Nevada investigator, who bought products from three of the 228 sites. Upon the products' arrival, a Chanel official reviewed them and they were declared counterfeit. This is apparently enough reason for Judge Dawson to order all these domains seized and transferred to GoDaddy.

This news arrives as Internet backlash of the Stop Online Piracy Act continues to swell. Lawyer Venkat Balasubramani, commenting about this Chanel case, wrote the following: "The fight against SOPA may be a red herring in some ways, since IP plaintiffs are fashioning very similar remedies in court irrespective of the legislation. Thus, even if SOPA is defeated, it may turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory—opponents may win the battle but may not have gained much as a result."

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft to release special PC mice for Chinese New Year

Next Story

Gaming news round-up: November 30

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Wait.....What about, "...the company hired a Nevada investigator, who bought products from three of the 228 sites" uh - so THREE sites out of 228? Then should we assume that the 228 domains point to just three different sites (stores)? What if 20 or 40 of these sites sell legitimate products? What if the people that run the sites were duped into thinking they were purchasing legitimate goods? This judge is WAY over stepping here. I'm going to have to do more research because this makes no sense (which I honestly should expect given the way our system works sometimes).

This is why censorship free, distributed/decentralised search engines like Yacy are becoming more popular.

Google won't give in, I think, it's not their thing, and they would fight for it. Hey, if apple had a search engine, they would have won by now :v

Exactly, this Judge has really overstepped his authority, and the "Investigations" that took place to "Prove" these websights were selling fraudulent goods were conducted by chanel staff and NOT independant police or criminal investigations teams. There was also NO defence allowed or due process, its simply a case of chanel making a claim, providing their own "evidence" and a Judge giving a blanket ruling that oversteps his LOCAL authority.

Seriously, whoever this Judge is needs to drug out into the street and beaten publicy. This is kind of thing should NOT be going on anywhere, its a just one "Small" step into complete corporate censorship and control of the internet. Regardless of whether these companies or sites were breaking the law or not, LAWS WERE BROKEN WHEN THE JUDGEMENT WAS PASSED AND ANY COMPANY COMPLING WITH IT IS CONDUCTING AN ILLEGAL SIEZURE OF PROPERTY.

This will never keep. The judge has overstepped his authority, Microsoft and Google will not comply, and it will be overturned.

Judge is playing for China and Russia in this way :lol: Yandex and Baidu can use it to improve their positions in US.

Enough.
Another corporate/government control mechanism slapping the people right across the mouth. Now just sit there and take it. Don't fight, Don't get angry, be peaceful, lay down and play dead because somehow it's good for you stupid.

Chanel can do what everyone has to do and take control of the domain and then request that pages be removed 1 by 1 with the online form . Having a judge order it is lame. Yea, they commited crimes but the search engines didn't commit any crime. They are doing what they do, indexing the internet.

There's no need for a judge to tell search engines and social media what to do. If Chanel can ask for control of the domains because they breach their copyrights, they can redirect the fake domains to their domain and add robots.txt to each site.

did anyone bother reading the article? This is for sites who sold counterfeit products. You would complain if you bought a ipod or android phone from them and it turned out to be a fake.

CMG_90 said,
did anyone bother reading the article? This is for sites who sold counterfeit products. You would complain if you bought a ipod or android phone from them and it turned out to be a fake.

so they say

Dusco25 said,
So now we have fed judges censoring the net? Who would have thunk it?

Google and Bing, hopefully, won't comply. Judges can't be allowed to get away with things like this.

I really wish GoDaddy would change their name. They have grown quite significant on the domain name market yet they still have a name which suggest they are slightly dodgy and untrustworthy.

sam232 said,
I really wish GoDaddy would change their name. They have grown quite significant on the domain name market yet they still have a name which suggest they are slightly dodgy and untrustworthy.

they have a hot racer as their spokesmen. Unlike fake sites people know who she is.

CMG_90 said,

they have a hot racer as their spokesmen. Unlike fake sites people know who she is.


Didn't know about this one. I mean a hot racer as their spokesmen.