Italian Court Comes To Its Senses, Says Google Execs In US Not Responsible For Kids Uploading Video

from the about-time dept

Earlier this month, we wrote about how an Italian court was considering the appeal by three Google execs of their earlier criminal conviction over some kids uploading a video to Google Video. The whole case was really bizarre, putting the liability for the kids uploading the video on some US-based execs who had nothing to do with it. As we noted when the conviction came down, legal experts believed that the judge had made a serious mistake in reading the law. Of course, it took three years to get to the appeal, and Italian prosecutors were still demanding that these execs be put in jail.

Thankfully, however, the appeals court has overturned that ruling and said that the execs are not personally liable. Giovanni Maria Riccio, an Italian legal expert, agreed that "this is a landmark decision," especially concerning secondary liability. As he noted "it makes clear that monitoring obligations cannot be imposed on ISPs and that, in any case, these obligations are not connected with the financial benefit gained by intermediaries." As we had been arguing from the beginning, if Italian prosecutors won out in the long term, the potential incentives for foreign companies to make their services available in Italy would have been greatly diminished. Now, if Italian courts would only stop sending scientists to jail for failing to predict an earthquake...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    first sensible court decision i've seen recently, what with a guy being found guilty because he designed a website and a porn company being given permission to carry out speculative invoicing, relying only on an IP address which proves nothing, when previous companies trying to carry out this extortion process were stopped, seems like the justice systems everywhere are going nuts. the poor old ordinary citizen will soon be back in the days of the Lord of the Manor, where only he was right!

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    "if Italian prosecutors won out in the long term, the potential liability for foreign companies to make their services available in Italy would have been greatly diminished."

    I'm probably reading this wrong, but wouldn't potential liability increase, not diminish, if the prosecutors had prevailed?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    I can't even fathom how anyone would think it's appropriate to jail Google executives for a video that was uploaded.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    Yeah... Well, I suppose in the LONG term it would diminish because websites would no longer be available in Italy.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Re:

    I'm probably reading this wrong, but wouldn't potential liability increase, not diminish, if the prosecutors had prevailed?

    No, I wrote it wrong. Brain got shifted mid-sentence. Fixed... it's "incentives -> diminished" and "liability -> increased" but I started with one and ended with the other.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    Ask AJ.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Gotcha. I figured it might be something like that.

    Keep up the good work, Mike.

     

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

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Re: @ an AC

    "I can't even fathom how anyone would think it's appropriate to jail Google executives for a video that was uploaded." -- Well, first, it's part of the risk you run when you make available services that can be abused. I'm sure you'd agree that SOME content is illegal to even host... But that brings up the part Mike (and AC) continue to leave out, that Google was notified for a couple months (more or less; they'd no procedure in place for take-downs, apparently, but people tried to get them to), SO Google failed to act, and yes, corporations and corporate officers can be punished for failing to act; they DO have some responsibility.

    Hope that clears it up for you.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: @ an AC

    "Ask AJ."

    or out_of_the_blue.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 21st, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: @ an AC

    But that brings up the part Mike (and AC) continue to leave out, that Google was notified for a couple months (more or less; they'd no procedure in place for take-downs, apparently, but people tried to get them to)


    This has been addressed a number of times, but I think you ignore the answer because you don't like it. Google was not notified a couple of months earlier. Comments were made on the YouTube page. That's not notification.

    And yes, there is a well-established and easy procedure for take-downs.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: @ an AC

    For every criminal that escapes every single person in law enforcement must be charged for failing to nab said criminals.

    Glad you helped us clear that up, out_of_the_asscrack.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This