Judge: Google Image Search violated smut copyright

A judge rules Google’ Image search thumbnails violate the copyright of some porn site.

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/business/article_1131989.php

In this case, it appears the argument was that the porn had been illegally swiped by a third party, which is what Google indexed. Therefore, the copyright proprietor could not use robots.txt or any other means to prevent the images being made into image search thumbnails.

However, this still suggests search engines now have the onus of responsibility to ensure what they make thumbnails of is the property of the site being spidered.

Also, are thumbnails legally distinguishable from the original content? It appears not. That could be interesting.