Feeds

Argentine court overturns ruling on search engines' link liability

That's not my mess!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

An appeals court in Argentina has ruled that search engines are not responsible for the content of sites that they index. The court overturned a lower court's ruling against Google and Yahoo! Argentina.

A lower court had found the search firms liable for damaging the 'moral character' of Virginia Da Cunha, a model, singer and actress, by linking to pages that named her and used her image in a sexual context. Each company was ordered to pay 50,000 pesos (approximately £8,200) plus interest.

It was just one of more than 100 similar lawsuits that demanded search engines block links to pages relating to famous people, including football legend Diego Maradona, models, actors and public servants. According to a report by The New York Times, Da Cunha's case was the furthest along of those cases.

Argentine lawyer Martin Leguizamón Peña was behind 108 of the court applications that resulted in temporary orders being issued against the search companies in 2008. He told Argentina's News Magazine at the time that he was acting to protect his clients' image rights, privacy and honour.

When the 2008 ruling was issued, Yahoo! blocked all search results for the individuals, replacing them with a notice. An automatic translation of that notice says: "Because of a court order sought by private parties, we have been forced to temporarily remove some or all of the search results". Google said it was unable to comply with broad injunctions, according to The New York Times. Both firms had been ordered to pay damages to Da Cunha.

The National Chamber of Civil Appeals has now ruled that search engines become liable for the content of third parties only if they negligently fail to remove content upon being made aware of its illegality.

Google Legal Affairs Manager María Baudino wrote in a post that appeared on the company's Latin America blog last week, according to an automated translation: "The decision of the [appeals court] clarifies the role and responsibilities of internet intermediaries against the user-generated content. We believe that the adoption of criteria internationally accepted [for] limitation of liability is a breakthrough for the sake of legal certainty necessary for the internet industry to grow with the dynamism of recent years."

See: The judgment (71-pages, in Spanish)

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.