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Showing posts with label google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label google. Show all posts

Google not a publisher of newspaper article that is indexed in search engine results

Google LLC v Defteros [2022] HCA 27, decided 17 August 2022 by High Court of Australia.

 

The High Court decided that for the purposes of defamation law, Google is not a publisher of a newspaper article when providing a link to the article in search engine results and a short summary of the article.

 

"The question which arises here is whether providing search results which, in response to an enquiry, direct the attention of a person to the webpage of another and assist them in accessing it amounts to an act of participation in the communication of defamatory matter. ...

 

It is not suggested that [Google] itself communicated the defamatory matter in the Underworld article, which appeared on The Age's website. Unlike the defendants in the innocent dissemination cases, [Google] did not do so by selling, distributing or otherwise disseminating the matter complained of. ...

 

The question of whether the appellant could be said to participate comes down to the assistance provided by the hyperlink to move to another webpage. This is not a strong basis for liability and it finds no support in existing authority in Australia or recent cases elsewhere." 



Lawsuit in Victoria against Google over false reviews for artifical plant company

The Age newspaper has this story regarding false reviews of an artificial patents business, that alleged were posted when the business had a dispute with a moving company.

See https://amp.theage.com.au/national/victoria/david-and-georgina-had-a-dispute-with-their-removalists-four-years-later-they-ve-taken-google-to-court-20220707-p5azub.html

Interestingly, they are suing Google.

Similar story to the Titan Sheds dispute that ended up in the Federal Court in Brisbane a few years back.  There are about 3 court decisions.  One involved trying to get evidence from Google, but because Google was offshore, this was difficult.  See Note

ACCC to Review Facebook, Google and other large digital platforms

The ACCC is seeking views from consumers, businesses and other parties on options for legislative reform to address concerns about the dominance of digital platforms.

A discussion paper, released today, outlines options for addressing harms to competition, consumers, and business users in a range of areas dominated by large digital platforms, including social media, search, app marketplaces, general online retail marketplaces and ad tech.

Read more

UK Cookies Case

An interesting case today from the UK:  Lloyd v Google

See note here:  https://www.mishcon.com/news/the-developing-law-on-data-protection-group-claims

"This is of course a landmark judgment for data protection claims, but also more generally for consumer actions brought on an "opt-out" basis. The claimant, Mr Lloyd, represented a group of more than 4 million iPhone users, and alleged, on their behalf, that Google's historic deployment of cookies on the Safari browser had been not just unlawful, but that it meant that Google should pay compensation to everyone who had received cookies on that basis."

The court found for Google.

 

Suing Google for online review

A lawyer who is trying to track down the person who posted a bad review of her lost an application against Google, seemingly on the basis that she did not follow court proper procedures.

"However, if such a proceeding is to be brought it must be brought on proper material, on notice to Google, and it must be conducted efficiently and expeditiously. That is not how this proceeding has been conducted. One thing that must be avoided is the provision of a flurry of materials making inchoate arguments shortly before a hearing."

Garde-Wilson v Google LLC [2021] FCA 243

From The Age:  Gangland lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson says she will take a court fight directly to Google after the Federal Court dismissed her bid to force the search engine giant to reveal who was behind negative online reviews.

Ms Garde-Wilson, who rose to prominence representing the who’s who of Melbourne’s gangland war, suspects a rival lawyer is behind a negative Google review left under the name “Mohamed Ahmed”.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/zarah-garde-wilson-loses-bid-to-find-who-was-behind-bad-google-reviews-20210318-p57byd.html


Telstra ordered to help identify critic of doctor

Posting anonymous reviews to defame someone is risky.

Telstra has been ordered to provide documents to a doctor so that the doctor can assist identify someone who supposedly defamed him.

See this recent Federal Court decision:  Colagrande v Telstra Corporation Limited [2020] FCA 1595

Telstra did not appear at this court hearing.

This is similar to this case against Google:  http://www.cyberspac.com/2020/03/google-sued-again-for-identity-of-users.html and also these cases:

Kukulka v Google LLC [2020] FCA 1229

Kabbabe v Google LLC [2020] FCA 126 

Titan Enterprises (Qld) Pty Ltd v Cross [2016] FCA 1241 (patent attorney ordered to hand over file)

Titan Enterprises (Qld) Pty Ltd v Cross [2016] FCA 890 (written by Justice Edelman, now on the High Court)


Google liable for defamation based on search results

A recent Australian case concerning defamation and Google:
Defteros v Google LLC [2020] VSC 219 (30 April 2020)
http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VSC//2020/219.html

"Google submitted that it could not be liable as a secondary publisher, because its search engine is fully automated and does not intend the communication of any particular words or images, including any third party webpage to which a user might navigate. I do not accept this submission....
As the law stands in Australia, the common law casts the publication net wide. The liability of publishers is then limited by a range of common law and statutory defences. In particular, the common law ‘defence’ of innocent dissemination operates to limit the potential liability of search engine providers. Later in this judgment, I also consider the application of the statutory defence of qualified privilege to Google search results."

Google sued again for identity of users

Melbourne brothel wants order compelling Google to release info on anonymous reviewers
Google has been served with a third preliminary discovery lawsuit in Australia seeking the identity of online reviewers, this time by a Melbourne brothel and escort service seeking to eliminate 11 one-star reviews from the search engine.

Jurisdiction over Google

In Canada, on June 13, 2014, a Canadian court issued an injunction requiring Google to remove certain websites from its internet search results worldwide. Those websites were operating in violation of previous court orders and were being used to market a product that the plaintiffs say was developed through theft of their trade secrets.  The injunction granted was on a worldwide basis.

The injunction was upheld by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, but Google then obtained an order from a California court making it unenforceable in the United States. Google now applies to set aside or vary the injunction.  Google was unsuccessful.

See Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, 2018 BCSC 610 https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/06/2018BCSC0610.htm

Comments in this Canadian Blog

Google may be liable for defamation for search engine results

Today, the High Court of Australia decided that Google must go to trial to determine whether Google is liable for defamation regarding its display of search engine results and also in respect of Google's autocomplete function.

See KWM article Google this: The High Court allows Google to be sued for defamation

See Sydney Morning Herald article

See HCA judgment Trkulja v Google LLC [2018] HCA 25

Google Found Responsible for Defamation

The South Australian Full Court decided against Google Inc. in the recent case of Google v. Duffy.  See http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/sa/SASCFC/2017/130.html

Google's search results included defamatory material.  Google was found to be a secondary publisher.

Case note here.

Metatags and Google advertisements found to be trademark infringements

In an appeal decision handed down on Friday, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has affirmed a trial judge's decision that metatags and Google advertisements were trademark infringements.

The case is Accor Australia & New Zealand Hospitality Pty Ltd v Liv Pty Ltd [2017] FCAFC 56.

The case concerned a real estate agent advertising short term accommodation, using the name of a nearby Accor hotel (which was a registered trademark) to attract Internet users to the real estate agent's booking website.

The court confirmed findings of the trial judge that the following were trademark uses and trademark infringements:  use of of the trademark in the domain name, use in metatags for the website, use in headings for the website, use in email addresses, and use in Google advertisements.

It is hard to control where your ads will appear online

Advertisers are leaving YouTube, because their advertisements are being placed in close proximity to hate speech and other offensive material.

See NY Times story, Perils of Online Ads

New Zealand AdWords Case

Trade mark infringement found when competitor purchased Google AdWords that were trademarks of the other.

InterCity Group (NZ) Ltd v Nakedbus NZ Ltd [2013] NZHC 379 


See also comment.

Use of a competitor's mark in advertising could amount to an infringement of their trade mark unless it is clearly for descriptive or comparative purposes only e.g. if the advertisement includes sufficient text to differentiate the product or service that of the competitor. 

Defamation and the liability of search engine providers

The following Supreme Court of NSW decision was delivered last week by McCallum J: Bleyer v Google Inc [2014] NSWSC 897 http://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/action/PJUDG?jgmtid=172529.

Her Honour expressly declined to follow Beach J in Trkulja v Google, and preferred the English line of cases. This was not a final decision on the merits (consideration was in the context of a permanent stay application, given low prospects of success), however the reasoning in this case is likely to be given significant weight in any future consideration of these issues. Her Honour does leave open the question, however, of whether liability may arise once notification of a complaint is received by the search engine provider.

An extract:

[83]  The evidence before me establishes that there is no human input in the application of the Google search engine apart from the creation of the algorithm. I would respectfully disagree with the conclusion reached by Beach J in Trkulja that the performance of the function of the algorithm in that circumstance is capable of establishing liability as a publisher at common law. I would adopt the English line of authority to the effect that, at least prior to notification of a complaint (and on the strength of the evidence before me), Google Inc cannot be liable as a publisher of the results produced by its search engine.

Google and Defamation and Jursidiction

Google Australia has a defamation case against it tossed out, on the basis that it is Google Inc. that is operating the search engine and Blogger.

See SMH

YouTube redesign

YouTube has had a revamped look for channels in limited beta testing since early February, but it's now ready to spread the new-layout love to interested folks. Dubbed "One Channel," the design refresh places an emphasis on making a user's page look slick across different screen sizes and devices, adapting its style for the occasion -- yes, even on TVs. Along with a look that provides more visual breathing room, a wide image called Channel Art adorns the top of a page, giving the whole affair a stronger Google+ vibe. Now, channel owners can even snag a visitor's attention with a trailer that'll greet them if they aren't a subscriber. The refresh also introduces the ability to organize video playlists with custom sections. Raring to take Mountain View up on the fresh looks? Jab the second source link to get started. If you change your mind after taking the plunge, however, Google's letting users switch back to the old format for a limited time.


Why do you think that Google is doing this?

Google Australia does not control the Google search engine

Google Australia Pty Ltd does not like being sued in Australia.  In a recent Australian lawsuit, Google said:

  • Google Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google International LLC and Google Inc is the ultimate holding company 
  • Google Australia is not authorised to, and has no ability to, control or direct the conduct of Google Inc and is not responsible for the day-to-day operations of Google Inc 
  • Google Inc owns and operates the domains google.com.au and google.com. The search engines at the domains mentioned are exclusively provided by, operated by, and controlled by Google Inc 
  • Google Australia does not have any ability to control or direct action in respect of blocking URLs from google.com.au

The Australian court found: "There is no reasonable prospect of Mr Rana proving that Google Australia owns the domains in question, or that it has the ability to control or direct the conduct of Google Inc."  Thus, the claims against Google Australia were dismissed.

The Court also stated:
"In short, whether or not a search engine could be considered a publisher of defamatory material is not settled in Australia, and accordingly, it would not be appropriate to refuse to give leave to serve the proceedings and on that basis effectively dismiss Mr Rana’s claim against Google Inc: A v Google New Zealand Ltd"

See Rana v Google Australia Pty Ltd [2013] FCA 60 

Google not responsible for contents of advertisements

The High Court of Australia decided today that Google is not responsible for the content of advertisements placed via its AdWords program.

A key reason was the following at [69]:

That the display of sponsored links (together with organic search results) can be described as Google's response to a user's request for information does not render Google the maker, author, creator or originator of the information in a sponsored link. The technology which lies behind the display of a sponsored link merely assembles information provided by others for the purpose of displaying advertisements directed to users of the Google search engine in their capacity as consumers of products and services. In this sense, Google is not relevantly different from other intermediaries, such as newspaper publishers (whether in print or online) or broadcasters (whether radio, television or online), who publish, display or broadcast the advertisements of others.

See:
Court Decision, Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2013] HCA 1
SMH
Technology Spectator
KWM Bulletin

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