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Software Co. Suggests A Lawsuit To Google

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-17

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Belgian software company ServersCheck is suing Google in a Belgian court claiming that Google's Suggest feature as utilized on the Google Toolbar in Internet Explorer and Firefox leads searchers to illegal or cracked versions of the company's software.

The Google Suggest tool proposes search queries as searchers type the first letters of the queries. The suggestions it makes are generated by popular searches as gathered by Google's index. WebProNews has reported on apparent racial and ethnic slurs completed by the tool in the past.

When a user enters the keyword, [serverscheck], says the company, Google suggests ways to find pirated versions of the company's software. Philipp Lensen has a screenshot here.

"That is comparable to a person calling enquiries to ask where a well-known brand of handbag is for sale and being suggested to look for illegal counterfeit handbags," said the company in a statement.

When ServersCheck complained to Google, the search company said that illegal websites should be reported so they can be taken out of the index. As for the Google Suggest feature, though, Google refused to alter the suggestions.

Because Google has engineered the suggestions to omit sexually explicit keywords, credit card numbers and trace numbers from courier companies, ServersCheck says it had no choice but to file suit.

"We regret that Google cannot comply with the simple request of ServersCheck and that we are forced as a result to request the cessation of these dishonest practices via the courts," says Maarten Van Laere, CEO of ServersCheck.

"The damage suffered by us will only grow as a result of the increasing popularity of such search bars. As an innovative Belgian SMB it is already difficult to compete at world level. It becomes even more difficult when respected and leading companies like Google destroy this innovation by suggesting software piracy."


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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