Rep. Gohmert Nails It: Search Engines Should Block Adjudicated Infringers

At last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on H.R. 3261 (the “Stop Online Piracy Act”), former judge Louie Gohmert (R-TX) raised an interesting line of questioning:  If a website is found to infringe by a court order based on probable cause, why should it appear in search results.  Not surprisingly, Rep. Lofgren’s (D-Mountain View) response to the question dutifully set up the straw man of “censoring the Internet”–which wasn’t what Rep. Gohmert said at all, but apparently is the question that the Mountain View representative wanted to answer.

As we know from an October 2, 2009 story from CNET “Google: Pirate Bay Booted Off Search By Mistake”, Google removed the adjudicated criminal infringer The Pirate Bay’s domain from search results due to “an internal mistake.”

So it can be done.

At the time, Google’s public announcement stated “We are now correcting the removal, and you can expect to see back in Google search results this afternoon.”


Rep. Gohmert is simply asking that Google do intentionally that which it previously did unintentionally.

Or actually–that Google do in compliance with a court order that which it previously did by mistake.