Australian Government Upsets Google

The ABC is reporting that there is draft Australian copyright legislation (( legislation here thanks to KatteKrab )) that could make it a requirement for all commercial search engines to contact the copyright holder of every web page/site in Australia and obtain permission for their site to be spidered for indexing.

This is because apparently the proposed legislation will only

protect libraries, archives and research institutions but leave commercial entities like Google out in the cold.

Google’s submission is quoted as saying:

“Given the vast size of the Internet it is impossible for a search engine to contact personally each owner of a web page to determine whether the owner desires its web page to be searched, indexed or cached,” Google submitted.

“If such advanced permission was required, the Internet would promptly grind to a halt.”

I disagree, the Internet wouldn’t grind to a halt, but we might find that Australian based sites would drop off the larger worlds radar as they were expunged from search engines. I don’t know how the legislation would impact sites like mine which whilst being written by someone in Australia (( OK, I’m in LA at the moment, but I’ll be back soon )) are hosted overseas ?

3 thoughts on “Australian Government Upsets Google

  1. obtain permission for their site to be spidered for indexing

    I define these spidering permissions on my private sites via “robots.txt” and google obeys it just fine. why legislate something and put up additional barriers of entry into the search engine market if I, as a private copyright holder, already have a tool to tell any search engine my specific wishes in that regard?
    I wonder if beeing 20 to 30 years behind the times is a worldwide requirement for becoming a politician 😉

  2. Perhaps an extension to HTTP is called for that returns modified 404 message when there is no robots.txt AND the server is Australian, thus rendering the site non-indexable.

    C: GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.0
    S: HTTP/1.0 404 STREWTH

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