Google has found itself in hot water following a court ruling that found that the search giant violated copyright by displaying small, thumbnail versions of images from the adult magazine Perfect 10.

In his ruling, US District Court Judge A. Howard Matz concluded that “Google creation and public display of thumbnails do directly infringe P10’s copyrights”.

On a brighter note, as far as Google is concerned, there is unlikely to a claim for damages as it was noted that Google did not gain financially from displaying the images and search engines as a whole were given praise by the judge – “The court reaches this conclusion despite the enormous public benefit that search engines such as Google provide”.

Whilst this is unlikely to have any immediate affect for the Google image search, it does raise some interesting questions about search engines’ responsibilities regarding promoting pirated content in search results.

Full story to be found here.