Feeds

Argentine court overturns ruling on search engines' link liability

That's not my mess!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.