The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reaffirmed its earlier support for the socially redeeming value of searching the Internet for nudie pictures.
The San Francisco court, in reviewing a case it initially considered in May, reiterated its finding that Google could display tiny versions of photographs by Perfect 10 Inc., a Beverly Hills-based adult publisher, in search results, even when those images were copyrighted.
The court focused on the legal question of which party holds the burden of proving whether Google's use of Perfect 10's images constituted a "fair use" under copyright law. Fair use is a defense that allows the use of copyrighted works, under certain circumstances, without the owner's consent.
The appeals court initially said Perfect 10 had the burden of proving that Google couldn't make its case. It corrected itself Monday, saying it was up to Google to articulate its defense, even in a case such as this one, which dealt with whether the courts could issue a preliminary injunction.