Internet Archive Under Suit for Copyright Infringement

Nick W, at Threadwatch, pointed out this morning that the Internet Archive is being sued for copyright infringement. Pages were used from the Archive in a lawsuit last year during a trade secrets dispute between two companies.

It seems that the company that is pursuing this case placed a robots.txt file exception to the use of its web pages up, which the Internet Archive usually takes as an instruction to not serve pages from a site. But, somehow the law firm representing the defendant in the case was able to procure 92 pages from the Archives to use in its court case.

Alex Wexelblat, of Corante, takes a deeper look at the case, including a link to a Star Ledger article (broken link) on the controversy, and a link to the Complaint (broken link) in the case. He also commented on this subject back when the Internet Archive files used as evidence in the original case.

Might this case have implications for search engines, and their caching of pages, under copyright law? Maybe. Though one thing that make mean that this case won’t go so far, is that material that has been copyrighted previously can be used as evidence in a legal dispute, noted as fair use of the material. A court may stop at that point without making other decisions that have far reaching consequences. As noted by Alex Wexelblat:

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Usability and Search Engine Spam

One of my favorite usability sites is surprisingly from the US government. It was built out of lessons during a redesign of So many user-friendly ideas came out of the redesign, that the folks working upon it decided to share them with others at

Their Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines make a great tool to use when putting together a site, or trying to update one to make it friendlier to visitors.

So, why did I mention Search Engine Spam in the title of this post?

Well, according to Yahoo!, sites that aren’t very usable are spamming the search engine. On their What is search engine spam? page, Yahoo! tells us that, amongst other things, search engine spam includes “Pages that seem deceptive, fraudulent, or provide a poor user experience .”

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