Four Google Executives Beginning To Stand On Trial In Italy

Posted Sep 30, 2009

Back in February of this year, I wrote about how four Google executives are being taken to court for a video being uploaded of a teenager with Down’s Syndrome. Google claims that they have not committed any crime and I definitely agree with them. When you launch a website that depends primarily on user-generated content, then you should not be responsible for videos unless the community flags them. The video of a teenager with Down’s Syndrome being bullied by four students slipped through the cracks.

The Google employees on trial are David Drummond (SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer), George De Los Reyes (board member) , Peter Fleischer (Global Privacy Counsel), and Arvind Desikan (Google Video Marketing). The video was uploaded shortly before Google acquired YouTube. And then the video stayed for a few months before Google was notified about the objectionable content. As soon as Google found out about the video clip, they removed it.

Google also provided the information of the user that uploaded it. The four students ended up being expelled from their school in Northern Italy. The actual victim withdrew from the lawsuit, but a Down’s Syndrome advocacy group called Vividown decided to pursue the case. A verdict is not expected to be made until this December.