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Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
653 F.3d 976 (2011)


Facts

Perfect 10, Incorporated (Perfect 10) (plaintiff) provided a web-based subscription service for images. Perfect 10’s images were available to view as thumbnails on image-search results through Google, Incorporated’s (Google) (defendant) search engine, www.google.com. Google also provided links to copyright-infringing websites based on search results. Finally, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Google had a policy that required copyright holders requesting that search results be taken down include links to the allegedly infringing copies. Google would then forward the requests to chillingeffects.org, where the links remained available even if removed from Google’s own search results. Perfect 10 sued Google for copyright infringement and moved for imposition of a preliminary injunction. Perfect 10 alleged that due to Google’s provision of free access to Perfect 10’s proprietary images, its revenues had dropped from almost $2,000,000 per year to $150,000 per year, the website operated at a loss, and it was close to bankruptcy. Additionally, Perfect 10 acknowledged that its founder and president, Dr. Norman Zada, had found thumbnail images on other search engines, as well as Google. The district court denied the motion, and Perfect 10 appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ikuta, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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