from the well,-at-least-there's-that dept
Thankfully, an Italian court has now overturned the fine and acknowledged that it was ridiculous in the first place. Rather than focusing on the problems of intermediary liability, the court just notes that TripAdvisor never made any promises that the reviews were accurate:
“TripAdvisor never asserted that all its reviews were true, pointing out instead that it is impossible to exercise a blanket control and inviting users to consider ‘trends’ in the reviews rather than single contributions,” the court said. “We do not understand the harm to the consumer identified by the Authority in its concluding arguments.”That's good, though apparently a ridiculous counterproductive group called the National Consumers Union who brought the complaint in the first place wants to keep pressing the issue:
The National Consumers Union remained unconvinced, saying it intended to appeal the court’s “crude thesis.”This, of course, makes no sense. It's an argument for not the internet, in which anyone can express an opinion, but rather a top-down broadcast system, in which any statement must first be vetted. That would, effectively, destroy much of the power of the internet. It's hard to see how that helps "consumers" in Italy at all.
“We recognize that controlling on the Web may be more complicated than in a physical market, but the law and supervisory activity cannot remain permanently two steps behind current progress,” Massimiliano Dona, the union’s secretary, said in a statement.