Posts Tagged ‘google’

Google v Equustek at the Supreme Court

December 6th, 2016

The argument in the Google v Equustek Supreme Court case is about to start. An issue in the case is whether a court has a right to grant a de-listing order against a search engine to assist in enforcing a prior injunction granted by the court. The decisions of the courts appealed from are summarized here.

All of the factums  can be retrieved from the Supreme Court website. The webcast can be viewed here.

I did a presentation on the case several months ago highlighting what is in issue in the case. My slides are set out below.

Google liable for defamation through search and autocomplete features: Duffy v Google

November 5th, 2015

Is Google liable for defamation for not removing defamatory information in search results? Is Google liable for defamation as a secondary publisher by including hyperlinks to a website that contains defamatory materials when the hyperlink is included in search results? Finally, is Google liable for defamation when its Autocomplete and Related Search features produce suggested search inquires that are defamatory? According to the recent decision of an Australian Court in Duffy v Google Inc., [2015] SASC 170 (27 October 2015),  yes to all, at least once Google has received notice of these activities and fails to stop them within a reasonable period of time.

Internet justice: Mosley v Google

February 2nd, 2015

In the landmark ruling in Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, Mario Costeja González (case no. C-131/12, May 13, 2014), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recognized that search engines are controllers of the personal information they process and have the obligation, in appropriate cases, to de-list links to personal information in their search results. A recent decision in  Mosley v Google Inc & Anor [2015] EWHC 59 (QB) (15 January 2015) has recognized that a right to get a blocking order against a search engine might also exist in the United Kingdom under the UK Data Protection Act 1998. The case also illustrates the challenges individuals have in vindicating their privacy interests in the Internet context.

Google ordered by BC court to block websites: Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack

July 23rd, 2014

In an important decision rendered on June 13, 2014, a Canadian court ordered Google to block a website that was selling goods that violated the trade secrets of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs obtained a default judgment against the defendants. But, the defendants continued to sell the offending goods over the Internet. The plaintiffs, unable to enforce their judgment, asked for Google’s help in blocking the website. Google voluntarily de-indexed specific URL’s requested by the plaintiffs, but this “whac-a-mole” process was ineffective. When Google refused to de-index the offending websites from its search results, the plaintiffs brought a motion against Google for interim relief requiring Google to de-index the websites. Over Google’s objections, in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack 2014 BCSC 1063, Madam Justice Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the injunction.

The Google Book project: is it fair use?

January 5th, 2014

One of the most important, if not the most important, United States copyright cases decided in 2013 is The Authors Guild, Inc. v Google Inc. 2013 WL 6017130 (S.D.N.Y. Nov.14, 2013). The case has now been appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by The Authors Guild. The case raises issues of such significance to copyright holders and online service providers that it may well end up as a landmark precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court (assuming of course that certiorari is granted).*

Google liability for defamation on Blogger.com: Tamiz v Google

February 20th, 2013

Last week the UK Court of Appeal in Tamiz v Google Inc [2013] EWCA Civ 68 (14 February 2013) ruled that Google, as the host of the Blogger.com site, had potential liability for defamation by failing to take down or disable access to defamatory content once it receives notice that it is hosting such content.

Google wins sponsored links case in Australia

February 6th, 2013

Google won an important case earlier today in the High Court of Australia  In Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2013] HCA 1 (6 February 2013), Australia’s highest court unanimously allowed an appeal from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia which had found that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct contrary to s 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by publishing and displaying sponsored links. The High Court ruled that Google did not create the sponsored links that it published or displayed. Rather, the advertiser was considered to be the publisher of the sponsored links.

Google’s plans to prioritize legitimate online content

August 13th, 2012

Google announced on Friday it is updating its search algorithms. In making the announcement Google said the purpose is to “help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed fromSpotify.” According to the statement, it plans to reduce search rankings for sites with “high numbers” of valid takedown notices.

US court: Google book settlement not “fair, adequate and reasonable”

March 22nd, 2011

U.S.  Judge Denny Chin released his decision today on whether to approve the class action settlement with Google involving the Google book scanning project. Judge Chin rejected the settlement as not being fair, adequate, and reasonable.

His 48 page reasons were summarized as follows:

While the digitization of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many, the ASA would simply go too far. It would permit this class action – which was brought against defendant Google Inc. (“Google” )to challenge its scanning of books and display of “snippets” for on-line searching to implement a forward-looking business arrangement that would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of the copyright owners. Indeed, the ASA would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case.

Google’s search service exonerated from copyright liability by a French court

January 31st, 2011

When Google searches the web and indexes and caches and makes thumbnail copies of visual works available to the public, is it liable for copyright infringement?  Also, which country’s copyright laws apply to determining Google’s liability? Is it US law where much of the indexing and caching take place and from where Google transmits thumbnails and links to original works of art to the public? Or is it the place where the thumbnails are viewed (or communicated to)?

These issues were considered by the Paris Court of Appeal in the La société Des Auteurs des Arts Visuels et de L’image Fixe Visual Auteurs (SAIF) v Google France  S.A.R.L. and Google Inc case decided last week.