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Thread: Google's Cache

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Google's Cache

    I'm not sure where I should put this but feel free to move into another forum which is more appropriate.

    I'm sure most of you know about Google's cache, almost every website they index in their database has been cached by their caching servers. My question is, is this legal? I've been getting seriously harrased and threatened because I offer a proxy server which allows blocked countries where ISPs filter sites, not by the ISPs but by the owners of the websites, claiming to say what I'm doing is illegal because they can view their site through my proxy. They claim it's allegedly a copy of the site (even though the script starts a new process each time it's called to retrieve the page, and display it). Keep in mind my site doesn't act like google.com and cache the site on my servers. As far as I'm concerned google.com would be worse off then I am, since they have a copy of the site on their servers.

    Worst of all the people who email don't understand the concept of my site, they just see they can see their website through www.<mydomain>.com, and automatically assume that it's illegal. There are hundreds of anonymous surfing & proxy sites on the internet, I'm sure most of you are aware of anonymizer.com. I need some advice on how to deal with these situations, because they seem to be more and more apparent as my sites traffic skyrockets.

    Keep in mind I'm only 17, so I've never dealt with these things before. I thank you for your time.

    Jeff Dyer

  2. #2
    What's so illegal about it? It's the user's responsibility to use your service legally; perhaps you can put a EULA with a big ol' Agree button on the main page which people have to accept before entering the site.
    Get your web design questions answered: Web Design Forums at http://www.turtletips.com/forums/ ; vBulletin Board of the Month.

  3. #3
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    Yea i would deffo go with with what filburt said. You will need to protect yourself - I wouldnt do this yourself either but get a brief (layer) to draw up the agreement for you.

    Look at the bigger "free" sites around the world, hotmail for example have a huge agreement and im pretty sure not everyone uses those accounts for a legal purpose.

    Craig.
    GURU Cloud Hosting and Managed Dedicated Servers and Colocation at Centro, Hemel Hempstead.
    All supported by our own onsite team.

  4. #4
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    Jeff

    I clicked thru to your site. A very nice and useful one.

    IMO, you do have the potential of running into legal trouble. When a person views another site, your header appears and if I take it properly, a user has the option of stopping their ads from showing.

    This is similiar to publishing someone else's book with your own cover. I couldn't tell if you are using a "frame", but there has been litigation in the US about framing other's sites and depending on the details, such practices have been ruled illegal and subject to financial penalties.
    You'll get fewer complaints from over performing than from over promising.

  5. #5
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    Gordo, Hotmail still links to the outside world with a frame header?

    This the sort of thing you are referring to?

    Craig.
    GURU Cloud Hosting and Managed Dedicated Servers and Colocation at Centro, Hemel Hempstead.
    All supported by our own onsite team.

  6. #6
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    I'm not familiar with the hotmail deal.

    If a lawsuit comes up about google's cache, I think they would argue something like this. Cacheing is required(or extremely desirable) to make search engines work and it's such a great public benefit, it overrides any minimal private wrong. Jeff might make such a claim also.

    This line of reasoning has been used to "bust" copyrights, patents etc in some cases.

    I'm not an attorney, so PLEASE accept this as barroom talk.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Gordo
    If a lawsuit comes up about google's cache, I think they would argue something like this. Cacheing is required(or extremely desirable) to make search engines work and it's such a great public benefit, it overrides any minimal private wrong.
    The weakness in that argment, I think, is that it supports a search engine keeping a cached copy of a page ("to make search engines work"), but doesn't support allowing people to view that cached copy. And the fact that most other search engines do not do the same thing futher weakens it.

    It also might be important to note that Google allows website operators to "opt out." By using the NOCACHE tag, any page can be excluded from Google's cache. It might be a good idea for Jeff to do something similar for webmaster who don't want to be included on his site.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Halifax, NS
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    I do have a page which describes my proxy and what it does and some of the legal stuff, and mentioned if they would like their site blocked please email me and it will be done so in an efficient manner.

    The thing is most people who use my proxy are unable to use the sites anyway (behind a filtering proxy), and my site still accesses the full-entire page when it goes to grab it--ads and all. So no website is losing on the deal if my users choose to remove ads, just my IP address will show up for access information instead of theirs, which should be okay. The website is being visited like any other website (my server is visiting it), then on top of that it is displaying it with filter ads and a header with my ads on it. I shouldn't think this should be a problem, if they complain that they're losing money on ads they're wrong on two grounds:
    1) You aren't losing money on ads because my site accessed your site before it was filtered.
    2) This person wouldn't have accessed your site if they haven't found your proxy, so concider yourself lucky you're getting the additional traffic, and ad revenue.

    Either way no matter how much I try to drill this into them, they refuse to comprehend what I'm saying, or just disregard what I'm saying alltogether and attack me like I didn't even say anything.

    And some other people attack me saying that my "illegal site" copied every page on the internet (in the world), put them all on my server and put ads on it. If they bothered to read the copyright/abuse notice they would understand. How could anyone think my server copied every page on the internet??? I keep on trying to convince them my site didn't copy the page, but it acccesses it every time someone wants to visit it, but again they refuse to believe me or disregard what I say.

    Thanks for your replies, keep them coming!

    Jeff Dyer

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