Italian Judge Declines To Dismiss Lawsuit Charging Google Execs As Criminals For YouTube Video

from the bad-law dept

The judge in Italy hearing the ridiculous case charging Google executives with criminal charges (which could lead to jail time) because of a video uploaded to YouTube, has declined to dismiss the case, and will allow it to proceed. The lawsuit is ridiculous on many levels, and it's difficult to see any common sense explanation for why it should be allowed to proceed.

The case involves a video of some kids taunting a boy with Down syndrome, which was uploaded to YouTube. The very fact that it was uploaded to YouTube actually allowed the kids in question to get caught and punished appropriately for their actions. In other words, by any reasonable thought process, the video helped bring these kids to justice. YouTube and Google should be thanked. Instead, Italian authorities are trying to put five of their execs in jail for this. Those execs had nothing to do with the making of the video. They had nothing to do with the uploading of the video. Most of the execs being charged aren't even in Italy. They had nothing at all to do with any of this. Not only that, but Google appears to have acted quite admirably in this situation. Once they were alerted to the video, they had it pulled down off the site within hours.

But, one of the lawyers working on the case against Google states: "The outcome of this will be to determine how big companies like Google should be expected to act." What's unclear is how Google could have acted in any more reasonable a manner than what it did. The reality may be that the outcome of the case will determine whether any service provider will allow their services to be used in Italy. After seeing this case, I would imagine that many online service providers are now considering blocking access to all Italian ISPs. The liability (possible jail time?!?) is way too high for simply allowing people in Italy to use your service.

Filed Under: italy, lawsuits, liability, online video
Companies: google

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  1. identicon
    Fushta, 19 Feb 2009 @ 10:45am

    Italian Law: Everybody is Guilty

    If you remember the death of legendary Brazilian race car driver Ayrton Senna. He tragically died in an F1 race at the Imola race track in San Marino, Italy in 1994. Here is the video (not graphic).

    The trial began in 1997 (story here). The managers of the Williams racing team were being tried for manslaughter due to an alleged faulty weld in the steering column. Basically, everyone is guilty until the Italian courts figure it all out.

    There is more to the story, and they were found not guilty, but the overall trial took several years to resolve.

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