Brazilian Court Fines Google Yet Again Over Anonymous Orkut Message

from the seriously? dept

Brazil's laws concerning liability for online posting continue to haunt Google for no good reason. For years now, we've been hearing about lawsuits against Google in Brazil because of comments made on Orkut, Google's social networking site that (for whatever reason) is mostly popular in Brazil. Brazil doesn't seem to have a concept of safe harbors or of actually applying liability to those who actually did the actions. Instead, every time that someone does something mean on Orkut, Google gets blamed and fined.

Slashdot points us to the latest such case, an appeal of an earlier ruling against Google, where, once again, the judge found that Google should have magically stopped a supposedly defamatory message from being posted:
"By making space available on virtual networking sites, in which users can post any type of message without any checks beforehand, with offensive and injurious content, and, in many cases, of unknown origin, [Google] assumes the risk of causing damage [to other people]," judge Alvimar de Avila said.
Of course, that makes no sense. Does that mean webhosts are automatically responsible for any content that people put online? Claiming that just creating a place where people can post messages means liability for the provider creates huge chilling effects. It doesn't make sense for any internet company to operate in Brazil if it has any user-generated component at all. The liability is way too high.
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Filed Under: brazil, fines, orkut
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2010 @ 10:19pm

    Worth noting that the Brazilian constitution explicitly forbids anonymity and Brazilians only engage in selective enforcement of the law, since most of the people already lost respect for it and they can't go after everybody.

    Knowing that the case against Google being a political move is not that absurd.

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