Suing Google over search results

by Walter Olson on December 11, 2011

Max Mosley, former head of the Formula One racing organization, has been the subject of a number of lurid allegations in the European press. Now he is suing Google in France and Germany, and contemplating suit in California, “in an attempt to force the internet company to monitor and censor search results about” the allegations. “It is understood Google has removed hundreds of references to the defamatory claims after requests from Mosley’s solicitors. However, Mosley is attempting to force Google to monitor its search results so the material never appears” in the first place. [Guardian] More: Above the Law.

{ 5 comments }

1 Houston Injury Attorney 12.11.11 at 3:06 pm

How dare Google allow people to search the internet for news from around the world without first filtering the entire internet to make sure each and every article the search returns doesn’t offend every single person on the planet! The nerve!

2 ctrees 12.11.11 at 9:33 pm

Bing!

3 Hugo S. Cunningham 12.11.11 at 11:37 pm

I cheered Max Mosley’s original successful lawsuit against a sleazy British tabloid (is there any other kind?) on “invasion of privacy” grounds.
But this suit against Google, if successful, would set a disastrous precedent.

As a compromise, I propose a search-engine (Google) “right of reply”: a search against “Max Mosley” would include, at or next to the top of the first 10 listed hits, his own chosen page where he can refute the most common charges against him.

Admittedly, this “right of reply” would be more useful to a victim of libel than to a victim of invasion of privacy. Damages in invasion-of-privacy cases should be set at a higher level than 30 years ago, on the understanding that the existence of the Internet makes the invasion greater and longer-lasting.

4 Bill Alexander 12.12.11 at 1:06 am

I would think that Google could solve the problem, and get even, by simply returning from any search including the words Max Mosley a simple statement that all results are blocked, due to a lawsuit from Mr. Mosley. Streisand affect.

5 Melvin H. 12.12.11 at 1:43 am

Wouldn’t this end up being hit with a DMCA section 230 smackdown? (resulting in the suit being tossed under U.S. law and possible — no, needed — sanctions against the plaintiffs and counsel for same?)

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