Did Google Ignore A Takedown On The Italian Video?

from the making-things-a-bit-more-complex... dept

As the arguments continue over the Italian verdict convicting Google execs of criminal privacy violations for a video on Google Video, there is one interesting tidbit that's now coming out. One issue is that the judge has only released the verdict, not the full reasoning -- and that's leading to an awful lot of speculation. But now, Stefano has alerted us to reports claiming that Google had received an earlier takedown request which it had ignored. Throughout the case, Google had insisted that within hours of receiving a takedown notice from the police, it had complied. But, apparently, the prosecutors are claiming that there definitely was an earlier takedown.

So now we go back to our post from last week about the law, and whether or not Google had sufficient notification for a takedown. Part of the problem appears to be that current EU law does not clearly state the process for a valid takedown. In the US, at least, with the DMCA, the process for what counts as a valid takedown and how it needs to be delivered is extremely clear. And that way you can guarantee what is, and what is not, sufficient notice that requires a takedown. In this situation, where the law is not clear, you are left with a problem of interpreting what counts as sufficient notification.

But that brings us to the second issue: even if Google was notified, but somehow missed the notification, does that then mean that it makes sense to convict three totally unrelated executives of criminal charges? It still sounds like that would be a massive leap. At worst -- if we take as a given (and I'm not saying it's true, but for sake of argument, let's say it was true) that Google was sent a takedown notice which it ignored -- I would think that it would make sense to fine Google and require it to have a clear process for handling takedowns. To go beyond that and criminally charge and convict three totally unrelated execs because it took a second notice to get the video taken down seems pretty ridiculous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    One thing which I'm still not clear on is whether or not the "execs" were really unrelated. What is Google's exact presence in Italy? Is it a small office with 3 "execs" and an accountant, or is it a Googleplex like in techier parts of the world? If it's the former, then there's simply nobody else to blame... (not that that justifies blaming them, of course)

     

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  2.  
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    Jim, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    No, IF (big if) they got a take down and ignored it a fine is not the answer. It involved a minor child so ignoring the take down should most certainly be criminal. Did they prosecute the right people? That I don't know.

     

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  3.  
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    moop, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    iirc they knew who uploaded the video, and iirc it was said they "reprimanded" them. So, why did they ask Google to remove the video instead of the little shits who put it up in the first place? Why was Google sued and not the uploaders, and why on earth were the execs found guilty?

     

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  4.  
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    rpk!!, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 5:55am

    Re: Jim

    I'm not really sure a crime was committed! If I recall the content of the case the Italian gov was angry that a 3rd party posted a vid of some kid getting taunted. Does the fact that they are children suddenly make Google liable for anything?



    Also, to convict these three execs of criminal charges wouldn't they have to prove that they are personally responsible for ignoring the takedown notice (that may or may not have come), ie they made the decision?



    This sounds like the Italian gov making a move to be noticed in the digital world to me. What better way to draw attention than to convict 3 execs o one of the biggest companies in the world!

     

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  5.  
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    Super Bob Happyness, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Thought I would try this again

    I just wanted to see if this would go through or if it needed to be moderated by friendly Techdirt Moderators.

    I mean, if this doesn't go through, I imagine there's a reason why I work where I do and you're moderators as you are.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that you have to do something... I think.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Super Bob Happyness, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Thought I would try this again

    Is it wrong if I say that it's cooooooool that

    Techdirt Moderators now don't like paying subscribers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: Thought I would try this again

    I hope you're not paying a subscription to this site. If you are, your getting ripped off.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re:

    There is a difference between accident and malicious intent. If they did receive a proper prior take down notice and nothing happened... did it get lost in the shuffle? What evidence was collected to ensure that Google received the message and didn't get sucked into a black hole? It's extremely rare but it happens.

    To base most of your case on "I called on day 1 and received no word back to any effect. On day 30 I followed up and it was pulled down in 2 hours" To me it sounds like the day 1 notification got lost somewhere and if anything why did the person wait for flipping ever to follow up? If I took forever in my job to follow up on something important I WOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. Not the person I contacted once and sat on my hands for weeks assuming they got it... read it... and did whatever.

     

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  9.  
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    bob, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    This is the Italians

    Pretty much what ever they do is ridiculous.

     

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  10.  
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    John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    There are better places to vaction...

    I can see all the paid ads redirecting people to France and Greece.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:39am

    Re: Thought I would try this again

    Well for $20 a month I can make sure all of your posts will be delivered to Techdirt. Don't be fooled by other subscription services! I'm totally legit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:43am

    Ambiguity

    current EU law does not clearly state the process for a valid takedown
    A vague law allows for the broad brushstroke of prosecution. That way they can punish somebody if they can't get the real criminals.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: There are better places to vaction...

    I don't think Google will go that far even if the conviction holds. More like they will pull out any and all employees out of Italy and make it clear that no employee should ever set foot in Italy because they are flipping insane and will arrest you because some Italian citizen did something nasty.

     

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  14.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Did the execs throw stuff at some kid and mock him?
    Did the execs capture said scene in video and upload it?

    You can convict someone for murder if he committed the crime.
    You can not convict someone of murder because he built the railing from which the victim was pushed off, or because he paved the street below with bricks instead of fluffy pillows.

     

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  15.  
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    luca (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    this was the trial against G. for not removing the video in a short time, and it was not related to the uploaders.
    In the italian system, if the judge, during a trial, has notice of a new/different crime that is not related to that trial, he is obliged by law to open a "branch" on that particular case and to pass the satte of the facts to an other judge who will investigate on this new crime and, if necessary, with a new trial.
    So, relating to this case, a crime charge against the uploaders is something different (and will have a different trial) , and must not be confused with the trial to G. and the G.-execs, whether they can be found guilty or not.

     

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  16.  
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    luca (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: This is the Italians

    great post from a country where kids and teens get into schools with weapons.
    try again, lad.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: This is the Italians

    And which country would that be? I'd imagine the answer is... just about every country in the world?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    I take it there are some aspects of US law (takedowns, for example) that might be beneficially "exported" as a part of the ACTA discussions.

     

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  19.  
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    luca (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: This is the Italians

    not mine, for sure.
    and not in france
    and not in germany
    and not in spain
    and not in sweden
    and not in holland
    and not in europe
    just in the U.S.
    such a coincidence, ain't it?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This is the Italians

    wow, guess you haven't been to school lately. your straw-man argument isn't even that good. In Miami all the kids are armed to the teeth.

     

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