A high court judge in London has just ruled in favor of Google over a landmark case that could perhaps set the precedent for future cases that might be thrown against not only at Google but other Search Engines as well.
In the said ruling, Google was deemed not liable for defamatory comments contained in news articles, blogs and forums that are displayed by Google search results. The case was thrown at Google by the London-based Metropolitan International Schools against both its US and UK search portals. The issue was brought about by some defamatory comments published in a certain forum against MIS’ distance learning courses in games development. MSI complained that those forums appeared on Google search results. Google responded to these allegations by saying that they have no responsibility over those defamatory comments.
The decision clearing Google of any responsibility for the defamatory comments was carried out Judge Eady who said that Google was merely acting as “facilitator” and did not actually published the content.
The Judge goes on by saying that when presented with those search results containing dafamatory comments against any company or individuals, users still have the option whether to click on the link or not. Google is not in any way persuading the users to click on those link.
Nonetheless, the Judge also opined that Google should be responsible enough to block or take down those links when somebody complains that the links point to online resources that contain libellous materials.
Hopefully this decision would come into the way of others who are seeking legal actions against Google or any other search engines for referring links to these kind of online content. Google and the other search engines are just the facilitators and not the actual propagators of these content.