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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 22 March 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Sam Wallace
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: google

Am rather suprised to hear you would not expect religious
organisations to welcome scrutiny - assuming you were
serious - I would expect the Moonies to attempt to silence
critics but am astonished and disappointed that google
agreed to remove the links.

Google should have a disclaimer on the front page stating
that many relevant search results could be omitted as they
are too timid to honestly list the available pages. Sure
they could follow some standard ethics when listing sites
e.g. those grounded in law like kiddie porn sites but if
the Moonies are going to make all the claims they do and
expect google to link to them then they should expect the
links to critics also.

As for your notion of potential copyright infringement when
google caches web pages, it would seem to me that there is
little difference between google's caching and the average
surfer. What happens when surfing? A copy of the web page
i.e. html, txt, images etc is downloaded and stored on the
local machine. So the surfer now has an identical copy of
the web page in their own possession. They have reproduced
the original. Now this can be made available via one's net
connection to anyone else e.g. some P2P apps have made the
contents of entire hard drives available to anyone else
running a similar app.

But the point is that this is how the system works; when
one publishes a web page they should be aware that when
others access the page their local machine will be copying
all published data. If I visit the M$ site I'll have the M$
logo in 'temp internet files' on my own computer. Am I
breaking the law?

I think there are a lot of aspects that could be discussed;
in the meantime I think the best thing google could do
would be to remove all links to the 'Church' of Scientology
as well as the cached pages. After all, their claims
contradict the Xenu site...maybe xenu should threaten

Aardvark responds
Note that it doesn't seem to be Google's caching that is at
issue here.  They could kill the cached copies without pulling
the links but they didn't.

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