has Google got the right to display my website?
This is always a topic of some contention: Does an SE have the legal right to copy, cache or just list links to a website. This WPW thread is frought with silly replies that totally miss the OP's point but amongst the garbage there are a few sensible comments on the legalities of SE's and copyrights.
thecat starts out with what to me is a pretty simple question:
Why has Google or any other SE got the right to display my website on its search engine? does it own the web?
if I took someone elses content or title and keywords and put the information on my site i'd be in trouble, so why can google or other SE's?
This is followed by a truck load of nonsense posts along the lines of "robots.txt", "because they can", "it's just how it works!". It's not untill quite late in the thread that PikoTech finally breaks the stranglehold of silliness and adds this to the fray:
Google labs actually have on their terms and conditions page that "You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Site." (http://labs.google.com/labsterms.html)
Yet although they do have a robots.txt file for labs.google.com Yahoo! do have the Google labs website in their index. And I'm doubting very much that they wrote to Google to get written permission to add it to their index.
Does that mean Yahoo! should be prosecuted by Google?
Also does that mean Yahoo! ignores robots.txt
after minstrel says point blank that SE's have the right to copy content the OP (thecat) asks "So if they have the right, do we?" and oh my, i just cant bring myself to repeat what follows lol! Go check it out, its a very, very funny thread.
Getting Down to Business
As far as i can tell, publishing links and snippets as descriptions would all be covered under "fair use" - this has been stated many times by many people. It's when you start talking about the idea of anyone displaying your entire web page (as in an SE cache) that the boundaries of fair use start to blur and we get to the real debate.
Do SE's have the Legal Right to Cache/Copy your Content?