by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 24th 2010 2:04pm
This is certainly not the first time we've seen cases like this, but reader LM alerts us to a case down in Australia, where a guy is upset that the Yahoo search results on his name make him look like a criminal. So, he's now suing the company for defamation. Similar cases in the US and the UK have been tossed out, with courts properly recognizing that you can't blame a search engine company for "defamation" because its algorithms summarize other people's content in confusing ways. However, a ruling on a similar case in the Netherlands went the other way. Already, in Australia, the court has refused to grant summary judgment to Yahoo, so a full trial will soon be underway to take on this issue, but Australian courts apparently often look to similar UK rulings for guidance -- so last year's ruling, finding that automatically generated summary snippets in search engines were not defamatory, hopefully is a good sign.
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