Google’s supporting the legal profession

I guess, as a more-or-less lawyer (though a happily non-practicing one), I should be glad that Google’s keeping a bunch of my former classmates and colleagues employed. But it strikes me as somewhat unnecessary:

Last week, we mentioned how Google News was prominently displaying articles from another site that was simply copying Techdirt’s content (with attribution in a tiny font). … The problem, though, was that Google News seemed to be displaying this content with a link to that site instead of ours, even though the content was originally from our site — not theirs (and our version isn’t smothered with ads as this other site is). In my message to the Google News team I said I had no problem with what this other site was doing, but thought it would be more appropriate to show the Techdirt page. … Google has now responded, saying they “are unable to manually alter the position or ranking of individual stories found in Google News,” but telling me that I should file a DMCA complaint against this other site — at which point Google will take action and (supposedly) remove their site from the index. That’s a pretty extreme response. I don’t want their site to be taken out of Google’s index. I simply think that Google News should be able to recognize that our content belongs in the same results, since it’s content we created in the first place. Shouldn’t there be some sort of middle ground, where Google notices a site is simply copying others’ content and works to make sure the original source is linked, either instead of, or alongside, the copycats? [Techdirt]

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