Google scores a win in SOPA-tinged Mississippi case

Google contends the case was cooked up with help from the Motion Picture Association of America

A federal judge has put the brakes on an investigation of Google in Mississippi, where the movie industry was accused of conspiring with the state's attorney general to revive the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood filed a subpoena last October seeking information about Google's search and advertising practices in areas related to banned substances, human trafficking and copyrighted material.

Google had sought to block the subpoena after documents exposed in the massive Sony hack suggested the Motion Picture Association of America was working with Hood as a way to revive the SOPA legislation through other means.

SOPA was defeated three years ago after thousands of websites and millions of consumers protested that it would lead to broad censorship of the web. Lawyers for the MPAA were said to have helped Mississippi craft legal arguments against Google as a way to revive the legislation's principles.

On Monday, Judge Henry Wingate of the federal district court in Jackson, Mississippi, issued a preliminary injunction against the subpoena. He agreed with Google that Hood's arguments go against federal law, including protections in the Communications Decency Act for online services that publish third-party content.

Google's top lawyer said he was pleased with the ruling, which is expected to be made public within 10 days.

The Consumer Electronics Association, an industry trade group, echoed that sentiment. "Attorney General Hood's case against Google is a dangerous crusade against free speech on behalf of the MPAA," CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement.

Hood has 30 days to appeal the ruling. His office did not respond to requests for comment.

Google argues that new laws aren't needed to protect copyright holders.

"We'll continue working to protect people using our services," Google's lawyer said Monday. Last year alone, he said, it removed 500 million "bad ads" and over 180 million YouTube videos for policy violations.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleCivil lawsuitslegalinternetsearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?