Search terms on Kazaa to be blocked from ZDNet Australia has the rather
disturbing order of an Australian court telling Kazaa that it must not allow
searches on certain terms, such as artist names.
Let’s be crystal clear about the order. It is not about removing pirated
music (which is difficult because Kazaa doesn’t host files). It is preventing
people from searching for these words at all. Record companies will provide the
The reason that is is disturbing is the thought of such an action being
applied to other search services. What if some company convinced a court that
web search engines like Google and Yahoo were providing links to copyrighted
material? Could that company then prevent people from searching on things like "madonna?"
I suspect a key issue in all of this is the fact that it could be argued that
those searching for artists by name on Kazaa could be shown as being very likely
looking for pirated music. But the idea of censoring what people are allowed to
search for at all just feels like a step too far.