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Google lawsuit forces MPAA-backed attorney general to retreat

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
December 20, 2014
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Remember that post Google put up this week that accused the MPAA of trying to resurrect the spirit of SOPA with the help of state prosecutors (that included evidence based on some of Sony Pictures' leaked emails)? It just turned into a lawsuit -- and it's already having an affect. The search giant has updated the page to explain that it's asking federal courts to dismiss a subpoena Attorney General Jim Hood sent to Google back in October. That 72-page document asserted that he believed that Google has violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act, and had failed to take actions to prevent crimes committed by using its services. Now that Google is suing, Hood made a statement via the New York Times, calling for a "time out" and saying he will call the company to "negotiate a peaceful resolution of the issues affecting consumers."

In its lawsuit, Google argues that Hood's subpoena is an affront to the company's constitutional rights (citing protections from both the First and Fourth Amendment) and, even if it wasn't, that issues of copyright fall exclusively under federal law. It goes on to say that the accusations made are damaging and false, and they contradict Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects web-services from taking the blame for the illegal acts of their users. Google is now asking federal courts to issue a temporary restraining order on the Attorney General and a preliminary injunction to protect it from potential injury. It's not an ideal situation, Google explained in its announcement post, but the company believes it's become necessary. "We regret having to take this matter to court," the company wrote. "We are doing so only after years of efforts to explain both the merits of our position and the extensive steps we've taken on our platforms."

[Image credit: Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images]

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