India Uncut

This blog has moved to its own domain. Please visit for the all-new India Uncut and bookmark it. The new site has much more content and some new sections, and you can read about them here and here. You can subscribe to full RSS feeds of all the sections from here. This blogspot site will no longer be updated, except in case of emergencies, if the main site suffers a prolonged outage. Thanks - Amit.

Monday, October 30, 2006

India Uncut defames the Washington Post?

Imagine how silly it would be if the Washington Post were to sue me, claiming that India Uncut has defamed it by linking more to the New York Times, and ignoring it completely. Wouldn't that be laughable? Well, then how about this:

A federal judge on Friday questioned whether Google Inc. defamed a small company by cutting it from its Web search ranking system or whether Google is free to choose which sites it features.

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California heard arguments in a lawsuit by LLC that seeks to challenge the fairness of how Google calculates the relative popularity of Web sites.
Well, Google, you see, does not run on taxpayers' money. It is a private company, and other people have as much right to dictate what it should do with its algorithms as they have to dictate what I should link to or how you should arrange the furniture in your house.

If users don't like the way Google goes about its business, they can shift their loyalties elsewhere. If advertisers don't like it, they can stop advertising there. And if webmasters do not approve of their pages being indexed by Google -- as indeed some webmasters complained about in the mid-90s, when an early version of Google was run out of Stanford University's network -- they can simply insert a piece of code effectively saying, "Go away, Google," which Google respects.

To try and coerce Google into changing or revealing their code, through such legal action, is equal to theft. Thankfully, no such attempt is likely to succeed, but it says a lot about the attitudes of many people that such attempts are made at all.

(Link via email from MadMan.)
amit varma, 3:45 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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