by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 23rd 2010 7:00pm
Last year, we wrote about a court ruling in Argentina that found Google and Yahoo liable for defamation claims, after a celebrity was upset that searches on her name had results that pointed to pornographic websites. There had actually been a similar decision in Argentina the year before as well. It seems silly to blame search engines if people don't like the search results on their name, but that's what happened. Thankfully, however, in an appeal to the first case we linked to above, involving Virginia Da Cunha, the court found that the sites could only be held liable if they were made aware of the "illegal content," and then failed to remove it. In other words, the court is effectively using a notice-and-takedown safeharbor setup. There are still problems with that, but it's a hell of a lot better than automatically fining Google and Yahoo even if those companies had no idea about the fact someone was upset with the search results. Still, it's not great. As another article notes, without an official safe harbor, the only effective way to win cases like this is to have the money to go to court. Even Google and Yahoo are still fighting a bunch of similar lawsuits and will have to keep going through the process, until there's a real safe harbor in place.
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