For some reason, legal discussions always fascinate me – the nuance in how words are put together, definitions, and the technicality lawyers put into words is just interesting. And of course, you all know I am obsessed with Google and search. So this latest Search Off the Recorded podcast with David Price, the Google Search Product Legal Counsel was pretty interesting for me to listen to.
They spoke mostly about robots.txt, crawling, how to legally access websites both as humans and more so as bots and crawlers. Gary Illyes from Google led the podcast with help from Martin Splitt and Lizzi Harvey to talk to David Price. John Mueller skipped out, no legal disclaimer was given as an excuse for why John was not on this podcast.
The issues with crawling pages on a server you do not own, downloading a copy of the content on a site you don’t own and storing it on your own web site, copyright law, why the robots.txt protocol has not changed, how the Google legal team works with the Google search team and so on.
Gary Illyes said that Matt Cutts was the individual at Google who said Google should use the robots.txt protocol and that Jeff Dean was the first person at Google to code that.
Again, it is an interesting conversation and goes through the history of the internet and legal history of the internet:
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did – there is also the transcript over here.
David Price is a Legal Director at Google, where he advises the product and engineering
teams responsible for Google Search and the Google Assistant. His practice deals with a
variety of issues including copyright, user privacy, free expression and content removals.
Before joining Google, Dave worked as a patent litigator in California. He is a graduate of
Stanford Law School.
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