Google sues for decision on links to copyrighted songs

The Internet search giant is revisiting a lawsuit brought against it by a blues music label

Google is suing a blues music label to seek a declaration that it has not facilitated the illegal distribution of copyrighted songs by providing links in search results.

Google filed the suit against Blues Destiny Records (BDR) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to seek a judgement in a case dropped by BDR in late March.

BDR last year sued Google and Microsoft in the northern district of Florida "for infringement of copyright by reason of the provider referring or linking users to an online location containing infringing material or infringing activity, by using information location tools, including a directory, index, reference, pointer, or hypertext link...," according to documents related to the case from the court's Web site.

Google responded by removing or disabling links leading to Web pages allegedly containing the infringing material. The company said it acted in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and believes it is protected by the act.

Although BDR asked the Florida court to dismiss the original case without prejudice, lawyers representing the company told Google that they planned to re-file the case, Google said in case documents filed with the California court. BDR could not immediately be reached for comment.

The new Google suit in California seeks an answer to the Florida case. The Internet search giant is asking Judge Joseph Spero for a declaratory judgement that Google has not contributed to the infringement of BDR's copyrights and is entitled to the protection of DMCA safe harbor clauses. The suit also asks that BDR pay all costs related to the case.

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Dan Nystedt

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