Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Victory for Google as top British judge rules it can't be held responsible for defamatory blog posts

We read:
"A High Court judge has likened Google to a graffiti strewn wall in a landmark judgement which says it cannot be held responsible for libellous or offensive content.

Mr Justice Eady said the internet giant was not bound by laws governing publishers, giving the company widespread immunity from English defamation laws.

In the judgement, which will have huge implications for freedom of speech in this country, he said: ‘It is no doubt often true that the owner of a wall which has been festooned, overnight, with defamatory graffiti could acquire scaffolding and have it all deleted with whitewash.’

But he added: ‘That is not necessarily to say, however, that the unfortunate owner must, unless and until this has been accomplished, be classified as a publisher’.

The ruling came at the end of a long running defamation suit taken by a former Conservative Party hopeful and law student Payam Tamiz.

His case against Google Inc over reactions to a blog labelling him, without justification, as a drug dealer and a thief, is now dead in the water.


This is a welcome victory in an age where people try to blame anyone except the guilty party for some harm that may have befallen them. The libelled guy should have gone after the ones who wrote the comments. That is difficult but it can be done.

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