Google Inc.’s image search service violates the copyrights of adult magazine and Web publisher Perfect 10 Inc. by displaying thumbnail-sized photographs site, a federal judge has ruled.
However, Google is likely not responsible for displaying the underlying images from Perfect 10’s Web site, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said in a ruling last week that was made public on Tuesday.
The order could effectively bar Google from featuring thumbnail pictures — small versions of photos that are linked to a bigger version of the same picture — but not limit Google from linking to actual photos which exist on other Web sites.
The judge accepted that people who click on full-size images from Perfect 10 are not viewing images that Google has stored or served up on its computers but links to other sites.
Google argued that its thumbnails constitute fair use.