AMERICAN BUDDHA STRIKES ITS OWN BLOW FOR INTERNET FREE
SPEECH IN KATHLEEN PARKER DUST-UP (AMERICAN BUDDHA VS. CITY OF ASHLAND,
Google Watch, by
CAESAR: Vernacchio, your behavior has become
intolerable. We've already punished you once for
joking about Caesar, but you
continue to stir up trouble!
Let the young man have his slave back or tomorrow I'll burn down your
VERNACCHIO: It's not true that Vernacchio ...
CAESAR: Watch out, Vernacchio, we're tired of your
VERNACCHIO: Please, sir, I beg you, don't destroy
my theatre. I beg you!
Vernacchio is meek, Vernacchio is obedient ...
Caesar knows that!
Satyricon, directed by
See PDF here
April 13, 2007
Via U.S. Certified Mail
Kent Walker, Esq.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dear Mr. Walker:
I represent American Buddha, an Oregon non-profit religious corporation.
This letter is an effort to informally resolve a serious legal dispute
that has arisen between my client and Google Inc. (“Google”).
The American Buddha Library Site
Has Been Purged From Google’s Index
American Buddha has operated the American Buddha Online Library on the
Internet at www.american-buddha.com, since year 2000 (“the Library
Site”). During the last six years, the Library Site has built up a
membership of over 50,000 users, and its pages have steadily climbed in
“Page Rank” under the Google PR system, until with respect to many
search categories, the Library Site would appear on the first page of
search results for searches involving major topics of political,
artistic, philosophical, and cinematic importance. No more. The Library
Site System Administrator has informed American Buddha that the Library
Site has been purged from the Google index of websites, and thus Google
results never display direct links to the Library Site.
Consequences of the Purge
By purging the Library Site from its index, Google is generating
knowingly false search results that are damaging American Buddha,
interfering both with the access of its 50,000-plus members, and with
the Library Site’s ability to reach new members. Google’s knowingly
false search results now direct Internet users searching for the Library
Site to other websites that remain in the Google index, thus depriving
Internet users of access to materials that no other library or
free-media institution makes available on the Internet. Google’s de
facto boycott of the Library Site injures American Buddha, its present
and prospective members, and the Internet-using public at large.
Reasons For The Purge
American Buddha reasonably believes that Google purged the Library Site
from its index to retaliate against American Buddha due to political
animus engendered by content appearing on the Library Site. American
Buddha reasonably believes that a separate, sufficient and independent
reason for purging the Library Site from Google’s search index was to
interfere with American Buddha’s provision of copies of copyrighted
content pursuant to the library right of fair use secured under 17 U.S.C.
The Disablement of the Library
Site’s Google Search Box
In addition to generating knowingly false search results, Google also
breached its promise to provide a functional Google Search Box hosted at
the Library Site. The Search Box had operated well for years, and Google
has derived revenue from the operation of the Google Search Box hosted
on the Library Site by featuring “Google Adsense” advertising appearing
on the search results page.
American Buddha’s Demand for
Restoration of the Status Quo Ante
American Buddha hereby demands that Google promptly reinstate the
Library Site in the Google search index, and make all other technical
changes necessary to re-establish the status quo ante, so that Internet
users inputting text and image searches into the Google search engine
that correspond with materials on the Library Site will obtain direct
links to the Library Site. Additionally, Google is requested to remedy
the malfunctioning of the Google search box.
Requests for Disclosure of
To establish grounds for negotiation, and to enable me to complete a
full and fair investigation of the circumstances leading to the purging
of the Library Site from the Google search index, in addition to
restoring the status quo ante, I am requesting immediate disclosure of
the following categories of information concerning my client:
1. An accounting of all the ad revenue generated from the advertising
that appeared on the search page during the entire time the search page
2. Full disclosure of the identities of each and every person or
governmental or business entity that has communicated with Google,
directly or through intermediaries, concerning American Buddha, the
Library Site, or Tara Carreon.
3. Full disclosure of all statistical and other information stored in
the Google system concerning the Library Site.
4. Full disclosure of the identities of all persons and entities to
which Google has disclosed information concerning the Library Site,
including all communications in electronic or other format received from
or sent to:
a. Google employees, agents, or contractors
b. Third parties, including:
i. Government entities including law enforcement agencies
ii. Corporations or businesses
iv. Attorneys for any of the above
5. Full disclosure of all information that Google disseminated
internally or disclosed to any such third parties.
6. Full disclosure of every occasion when any Internet user has inputted
a search for “American” and “Buddha” or “Buddhist” in any search request
since the Library Site was purged from the Google search index.
Notice To Preserve Evidence
Litigation may foreseeably arise from Google’s dissemination of false
search results and other conduct injurious to American Buddha, and thus
Google is enjoined to preserve all evidence relevant to this matter,
including the foregoing categories of information, which may be
discoverable pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 16, 26, 33-37,
and 45. Google is further cautioned that it must not exploit the routine
operation of an information system to evade discovery obligations by
failing to prevent destruction of stored information that it is required
Expedited Response Requested
This letter is sent with the greatest urgency, as the damages being
suffered by the Library Site and American Buddha are severe and
continuing. In the absence of a prompt negotiated resolution, American
Buddha will be compelled to resort to court action to obtain relief from
irreparable harm. All rights are hereby reserved.
Very truly yours,
L. John Doerr
Eric E. Schmidt
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