February 23, 2006

Perfect10 vs Google, and copyright aspects of nude women pictures

I'm surprised there hasn't been much mention of some amusing aspects to be found within the Perfect10 vs Google ruling, since plaintiff "P10 publishes the adult magazine "PERFECT 10" and operates the subscription website, "perfect10.com," both of which feature high-quality, nude photographs of "natural" models".

Accept a substitute?

Merely because Google's thumbnails are not cropped does not necessarily make them exact copies of P10's images, but the record currently before the Court does suggest that the thumbnails here closely approximate a key function of P10's full-size originals, at least to the extent that viewers of P10's photos of nude women pay little attention to fine details.

It's creative, not objectification:

Google argues that P10's works are not creative because P10 "emphasizes the objects of the photographs (nude women) and [P10] assumes that persons seeking Perfect 10's photos are searching for the models and for sexual gratification." Google contends that this "implies a factual nature of the photographs." The Court rejects this argument. The P10 photographs consistently reflect professional, skillful, and sometimes tasteful artistry. That they are of scantily-clothed or nude women is of no consequence; such images have been popular subjects for artists since before the time of "Venus de Milo."

And, from a legal standpoint, it's not true that if you've seen one, you've seen them all:

The Court finds that Google's use of the infringing copies of P10's images also is no greater than necessary to achieve the objective of providing effective image search capabilities. In doing so, the Court rejects P10's contention that Google could have provided such assistance through the use of text, claiming that P10's images are more readily describable in words than Kelly's images. First, contrary to P10's contention, photographs of nude women can, like photographs of the American West, vary greatly.

It's always intriguing to see how this material is treated in legal cases.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in legal | on February 23, 2006 10:53 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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