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Australian defamation case a headache for Mountain View

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Google’s woes at the hands of Australian courts continue, with the State of South Australia's District Court ordering the Chocolate Factory to hand over the identities of anonymous bloggers in a defamation case.

Former Australian Football League player (that's Australian Rules, not soccer) player Shane Radbone sought the identity of bloggers who he says have defamed him. Although Google deleted the blogs in question, he launched the action in early December 2012 to identify the bloggers.

The blogs, posted on Google’s Blogger.com, accused him of unethical practices and incompetence, which Rathbone’s lawyer described as both defamatory and damaging to Rathbone’s business.

The judgment has yet to be published, but according to the Herald Sun, the court’s Master Mark Bloomberg made the order that Google identify the authors within 28 days.

In November 2012, Google lost a $AU200,000 defamation case for refusing to take down search links that associated a Melbourne man’s image with notorious gangsters.

In the Federal Court last year, the company was also found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct for displaying ads that redirected searches for one travel agency to the Website of a competitor. That decision is subject to an appeal in the High Court of Australia. ®

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