Brazilian TV Host Gets Court To Demand Google Censor Results Pointing To A Movie She Was Once In

from the right-to-forget? dept

While we were encouraged by a proposal in Brazil that would make it much more difficult to get content taken down without a trial or giving whoever put the content up a chance to respond (and also by a proposal to make fair use equally as important as copyright), to date, Brazilian courts have a tragically bad history of enforcing censorship based on content someone doesn't like. Google, for example, has been on the losing end of lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit in Brazil -- and all of it over third party content.

The latest such example comes from reader Fabop, who notes that Xuxa Meneghel, a well-known host of a Brazilian children's TV show has been able to get the courts to issue an injunction against Google (Google translation of the original Portuguese) because she was upset at the results that came up when people did a search for "Xuxa pedophile."

If you're wondering why people would do such a search -- or why there were Google results on it, apparently, back in 1982, Xuxa Meneghel started in a film, Amor, Estranho Amor (Love, Strange Love) in which she played a pedophile prostitute who seduces an 11-year-old boy. Of course, that's factual information -- but she's upset that when people search on those terms, it returns articles about the movie, and pictures from the movie. This seems somewhat similar to the various attempts to create "right to forget" laws in Europe. Apparently, Meneghel has even been successful in getting the actual movie banned from distribution, even though the company who owns the film rights would like to continue distributing it.

Google is apparently a bit upset that this temporary injunction was issued without anyone bothering to inform Google (Google translation from the original Portuguese, and it sounds like the company will try to fight the injunction.

The company points out -- accurately -- that it's merely indexing the content that's out there, and is not responsible for it. However, Xuxa's lawyer mocks them for this claim, saying that Google can and should block such content, and that the court system in Brazil is "tired" of deciding whether or not search engines are responsible for the content to which they link.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Dear Brazil:

    No more Google anything for you!
    -Luv, everybody.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Was she not aware of what the film was about when she APPEARED IN IT?

    Screw 'right to forget'. There should be 'forced to make peace with stupid things you've done'.

     

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  3.  
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    Steven (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    Tired

    I am also tired of the court system "deciding whether or not search engines are responsible for the content to which they link". You would think by now any lawsuit that asserts this ridiculous claim would be quickly laughed out of court. Sadly this is not yet the case.

     

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  4.  
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    pringerX (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    It's the lawyers

    They just want of the piece of the pie that Google baked. It might be interesting to watch Brazil fall flat on its face if Google just shut down services there for a few days, but sadly that won't happen.

    "Right to forget" is not unreasonable, if it being applied to private information made public without the consent of the person in question-like medical records. But I suspect most of the information people want quashed is public anyway, so a proper "right to forget" law that obeys freedom of speech would be moot in many, if not most cases.

     

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  5.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    or why there were Google results on it

    ?? Google will return results for practically anything. I doubt there's any combination of [name] + "pedophile" that would return 0 results.

     

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  6.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    I know that movie.

    Got no idea what it's about, but she's good looking.

    She's an actress that plays a pedophile in that movie. How is that not an accurate search? The results aren't claiming she is a pedophile, just that she played one in a movie once.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Just for Grins

    I just searched thru Bing and found what i am sure are similar results to Google. Are they going to systematically go after every search engine?

     

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  8.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re: I know that movie.

    Not to mention, anyone performing that specific search probably already knows about the movie. Otherwise, why would they randomly Google that.

    And if they Googled it because they randomly heard her name coupled with "pedophile" somewhere and wanted to learn more about it, she would only be absolved, as the person searching for the terms would learn, "Oh, that's just from a movie."

    Ah, if only people gave these things some thought before suing.

     

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  9.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: I know that movie.

    That's a damn good point, she blocks this search all that will come up is questioning if she is actually a pedophile. No more absolution.

     

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  10.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:42am

    Re: I know that movie.

    On that basis Christopher Lee is a Vampire, Johnny Depp is a drunken pirate and Arnold Schwarzenegger is a killer robot from the future - why don't they sue Google?

     

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  11.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Re: Just for Grins

    I just searched thru Bing and found what i am sure are similar results to Google.

    Wow - Bing has improved then...

     

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  12.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: I know that movie.

    "...why don't they sue Google?"
    Vampires, pirates, and killer future robots have no real need of extra money or publicity...

    ; P

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Process number

    Going from the information on the first link and searching on the tribunal's web site, it looks like it is this one: 0024717-80.2010.8.19.0209 (http://srv85.tjrj.jus.br/consultaProcessoWebV2/consultaProc.do?numProcesso=2010.209.024422-0).

     

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  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: I know that movie.

    She is probably scared of the stupid witchhunters who don't know the difference between movies and real life (or between paedophiles and paediatricians)

    Incidentally the words should be spelled "Paed.." a pedophile is actually a foot fetishist...

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: I know that movie.

    Oh I don't know - I'm sure Dracula would like his castle re-furbished..

     

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  16.  
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    that_id (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: I know that movie.

    maybe if it instead portrayed her as a killer robo-pedophile from the future, she wouldn't have had a problem with it...

     

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  17.  
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    that_id (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    court system in Brazil is "tired"

    and that the court system in Brazil is "tired" of deciding whether or not search engines are responsible for the content to which they link.
    ===========================

    I'm pretty certain that Brazil's 'tired' court system will have dug it's own grave with these decisions.
    Since the precedent has now been set, I can only imagine these types of claims will begin to overwhelm the courts very quickly.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    trilobug, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Xuxa that rings a bell...

    I remember Xuxa (pronounced shoo-sha). It was a kids game show that actually aired in the states in the early 90s. My friend and his brother were actually contestants one show. Xuxa was kinda cute, and I dug the accent, though her toy soldier dances were always hotter than her.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Roberta Fernandes, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: It's the lawyers

    Do you think us brazilian agree with what those lawyers are doing? this woman had a problem with internet before (twitter, precisely), so is about one person's issue, and not the whole population.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Dear Brazil:

    This would be the simplest solution.
    Though they they would have to go after each other search engine one at a time.
    Maybe the better solution would be just cut them off from the Internet.
    That way they wouldn't have to worry about what's out their.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    I expect not everyone can understand the design of the internet, but you'd think a judge would take the time to investigate. Google generated the index, but did not write the book.

     

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  22.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Just for Grins

    What they do is...behind the scenes...they do a search on google...then change the order a little and reports it...BRILLIANT!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Dishevel, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Just for Grins

    No. They just re display the Google results with a couple of random links to Microsoft products.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    And, of course, if you google Xuxa pedophile now the second top result is a link to Techdirt critizicing Brasil for this move.

    Can we call this the Xuxa Effect?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    kstahmer (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Bye Bye Brazil

    Brazil, if your goal is to make yourself irrelevant and appear ridiculous, you succeeded.

     

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  26.  
    icon
    interval (profile), Nov 15th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    "Block" content?

    All google can do is not index the information, it would be up to individual isps to actually "block" the site hosting it. I hope these Brazilian courts understand that.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    If I were google I'd ask them to phrase their question so it makes sense with the relevant technology. Google can't block shit but it could delete it from its index...

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Pantagruella, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 4:24pm

    Xuxa

    I don't think anyone in their right minds would time in a word, a well-known word, that means a fondness for children. The only people who would do that are investigators or monkeys working on a Shakespearean play. I think the laws of the world should agree with anything Xuxa wants. I would imagine Xuxa has profound contempt for children.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2010 @ 10:16pm

    I give it 2 weeks till google has Brazil invaded due to a 'mistake'

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Hope she doesn't use the "Brazilian Blowout" :)

    Will Brazilian Blowout try to censor the net next?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Nov 16th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Re: Tired

    Breaking News ...
    Binocular manufacturers now responsible for what is viewed through their optics.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 8:34am

    She didn't just play a pedophile in the film; she actually had explicit softcore nude love scene with the child actor.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    Its true. I think the film would officially be kiddy porn in the USA or other countries.

     

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


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