Google Is Found Guilty Over Libel Regarding Search Results

Posted Nov 27, 2012

Google has been found guilty by an Australian court for libel.  The Australian court threw out an argument that Google is just a listing tool.  Google did not remove a link to an incorrect website that has to do with a person name Milorad Trkulja.

Mr. Trkulja asked Google to remove a website that contains content believed to be libel against his name.  Google was fined $200,000 for the infringement, but the search engine company will be appealing the decision.  Below is a statement from the Australian judge about why the jury found Google guilty:

The jury were entitled to conclude that Google Inc intended to publish the material that its automated systems produced, because that was what they were designed to do upon a search request being typed into one of Google Inc’s search products. In that sense, Google Inc is like the newsagent that sells a newspaper containing a defamatory article. While there might be no specific intention to publish defamatory material, there is a relevant intention by the newsagent to publish the newspaper for the purposes of the law of defamation.

Google is considered the automated newsagent in the statement.