Max Mosley Continues His Quixotic And Misguided Quest: Sues Google For Still Finding Photos He Doesn't Like

from the not-him-again dept

Oh Max Mosley. The guy who’s basically guaranteed that the press keeps writing about the “sex party” pictures involving him and five sex workers that were leaked to the press years ago. Mosley has basically dedicated his life to reminding the public about those pictures by fighting a ridiculous war to blame everyone for those pictures existing on the internet. He’s actually won a few lawsuits against Google, in which the company has been told to do the impossible: make the photos of him disappear. Now he’s decided to sue the company yet again, this time in the UK (he’s already sued in France and Germany). Mosley’s really big win over the original newspaper, News of the World, was mostly over the fact that they called it a “Nazi sex party” and he insists that the party wasn’t Nazi-themed (an area of some sensitivity, as Max’s father was friends with Hitler).

This case is not directly related to the recent “right to be forgotten” situation in the EU, but might be considered a close cousin of it. It’s still based on the ridiculous assertion that the fact that some of these pictures are still online can be blamed on Google. Mosley, apparently, is not big on understanding how the internet works. And he’s not above stretching the rulings in the courts:

His lawyers said the case concerned “the ability of individuals within the UK to enforce their rights against the large corporations that control access to the internet”. The statement added: “It seeks to compel Google to stop gathering and publishing images that the English high court decided in 2008 were unlawful in the landmark privacy case Mosley v News Group Newspapers.”

Except that Google is not the one “gathering and publishing” the images. And the images were not determined to be “unlawful” as a whole, just in the context of the situation in which they were published. But, still, Mosley has decided that Google is the clear enemy:

“Adherence to the rule of law is essential to any society. This must include compliance with the decisions of the courts. As the gateway to the internet, Google makes enormous profits and has great influence, so I have not taken this action lightly. But Google should operate within the law rather than according to rules it makes itself. It cannot be allowed to ignore judgments in our courts.”

Except, of course, Google is not “ignoring” the law. It is doing what it does: searching the internet and helping people find what they’re looking for that is on the internet. Still, Mosley has tons of money and appears to want to spend it all making sure that the sex party keeps popping up in the news over and over again. If he’d just let this story die, it basically would have disappeared years ago. But through his own actions he keeps making it news again and again and again. Even the BBC appears to be trying to explain to Mosley pretty directly how the Streisand Effect works…

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Comments on “Max Mosley Continues His Quixotic And Misguided Quest: Sues Google For Still Finding Photos He Doesn't Like”

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Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Same. The only reason I even know this guy’s name is because of the lawsuit he filed.

Soon as I saw the headline, I was like, “Isn’t Max Mosley that guy who had that Nazi sex party thing and sued over it?” (BTW, +1 google index search rating linking his name with such.) Then I read down a paragraph and – yep I was right. Given another year or two and I wouldn’t have made the connection – there’s only so much RAM in my brain for useless trivia. Unfortunately for him, he just refreshed it, so its stuck in the buffer for awhile longer.

Scote (profile) says:

“Except that Google is not the one “gathering and publishing” the images.”

Actually, they are. Google spiders the web, and downloads text and image thumbnails to its internal servers. It Publishes those gathered images when you do an image search.

Now, I think it is fair use and the lawsuit is an other example of BS, censorious legal thuggery, but let’s not misrepresent what Google does or how it does. It does gather and publish images. It does so to accurately reflect the content of the internet as hosted on other sites, sites who’s content it is not responsible for and has no control over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No google is not publishing. It’s not google putting the images on the net. What google is doing is making them findable. And that is what he wants to stop. Of course even if he does succeed in making the pictures magically dissapear from google there are always other search engines. (baidu anyone?)

Scote (profile) says:

Re: Re: Google does publish thumnails

Do an image search on Google. You’ll get a page of thumnails. Those thumnails are hosted and published by Google. So, again, yes Google collects and publishes text and images. That’s how a search engine works – it uses “spider” bots to download (“gathers”) the internet to internal servers.

And, again, I think this lawsuit is BS. But you have to base your statement on how the technology actually works.

ryuugami says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not really, though.

Yahoo and DuckDuckGo just repackage Bing results (I use DDG).
Never heard about Dogpile, but unless it covers some specialized area, more likely than not it’s also repackaging something.

And I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Bing is often accused of repackaging Google 🙂

The actual list would be something like:
Google, Bing (?), Baidu, Yandex, and… is that it?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Repackaging” really doesn’t matter. The **AAs have tried pretending that linking and embedding are the same as making a pirate copy. They’ll try the same here given half the chance – and the smaller guys will likely fold rather than fight because they don’t have the budget to argue semantics in court.

“Never heard about Dogpile, but unless it covers some specialized area, more likely than not it’s also repackaging something.”

You know, there’s these search engine things you can use if you wish to look at what something is, might even have taken you less time than it took to write that sentence and you’d learn something at the same time 😉

Only half kidding – I’d never heard of Yandex before I read your comment, now I know something I didn’t when I got up this morning.

Anonymous Coward says:

I had never heard of this guy before, but this article prompted me to look him up. If not for Max Mosley and is inability to understand the Streisand Effect, I would never have known that “F1 Boss has sick nazi orgy with 5 hookers”

The more you call attention to stuff on the internet, the longer it takes to die.

The real headline should be, “Rich asshole who likes hookers upset that internet search engine works”

Anonymous Coward says:

it seems to me that this whole ‘right to be forgotten’ law in the EU was done for people like him. he is one of the rich and famous who has done things that he is ashamed of, or at least ashamed of being called out on them. however, that doesn’t give him the right to continuously go back and blame everyone else that he can for allowing others to find out about what he did. in fact, if it were possible to find out, i wonder if he actually had something to do with the case in the EU courts? he is certainly making an enormous thing about it, so much so that no one is getting a chance to forget about him!

Jasmine Charter says:

It's not just him...

Actually, it’s most of Europe who don’t understand how the internet works… let alone Google…

“Those darn inter-tubes keep showing pictures of me in that Nazi Party! Darn that Google!”

Only… they say it with a German, French or Italian accent.

Luckily, the UK looks like SOME of them actually have more than two brain cells to rub together.

Duke (profile) says:

A minor correction

Mosley’s really big win over the original newspaper, News of the World, was mostly over the fact that they called it a “Nazi sex party” and he insists that the party wasn’t Nazi-themed.

If anything it was the other way around; the newspaper’s only real defence was that it was Nazi-themed, and therefore in the public interest to report on. The court found (based on the evidence of Mosley and others involved) that it wasn’t really anything to do with the Nazis, and thus there was no public interest in reporting the story (never mind running it with pictures and videos).

One of the big things that was ‘interesting’ about the case (which wasn’t really a landmark one) was that he didn’t bother suing the newspaper for libel (over the ‘Nazi’ part) – which would have been very expensive and time consuming – instead he went for privacy (essentially saying ‘yes it happened, but it was none of your business’).

That One Guy (profile) says:

Working as intended?

I’m sure someone has brought the idea up before, but could he in fact be an exhibitionist, someone who enjoys the idea of people knowing what he did, and is intentionally making sure his actions make it into the news again, and again, and again?

I mean, exhibitionist or idiot who doesn’t understand how the internet actually works, it’s got to be one of the two.

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