A U.S. district court judge has ordered Google to de-list hundreds of sites selling counterfeit Chanel products from its search engine.
Chanel won a lawsuit in Nevada district court to shut down website hawking their faux luxury goods, and a federal judge ruled they can seize the domains and all major search engines, including Google, must remove the sites from all search results, according to a court document.
The seized names will be transferred over to GoDaddy.com, a commercial Web hosting site, and users would be directed to a page informing them of the seizure, according to Ars Technica.
While at least one lawyer questioned the legality of such a move, others say that counterfeiting companies can easily register in a country other than the United States and be virtually untouchable. So the court decision may make everyone feel better or that justice has prevailed, but in reality little has changed.
De-listing sites is a very short-term solution. We would be surprised if the sites didn't have new ones put up within 24 hours and registered somewhere in Eastern Europe. We only hope that Google decides to fight the court decision requesting the search titan to change or exclude listings by court order. We think that court decision could have far more serious implications on free speech.