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UK Court clears Google in defamation case

Says, the search engine merely plays the role of a facilitator

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has won a ruling in a defamation case in the UK which states that the search giant cannot be held responsible for the content that appears in its internet search results.

David Eady, a British high court judge, ruled that Google’s automated search engine is not the publisher of the material. It plays the role of a facilitator by the provision of its search service, he added.

The case was brought by the Metropolitan International Schools, an online trading company that operates Train2Game computer games courses. The company sued Google over the comments posted on web forums that it claimed were defamatory and Google was liable as a publisher of the comments.

Justice David Eady, ruled that: “When a snippet is thrown up on the user’s screen in response to his search, it points him in the direction of an entry somewhere on the Web that corresponds, to a greater or lesser extent, to the search terms he has typed in.

“It is for him to access or not, as he chooses. It is fundamentally important to have in mind that the Third Defendant has no role to play in formulating the search terms.”

Meanwhile, the European Union said that it will hold a hearing on September 7th for publishers and authors to seek details on how Google’s book-scanning project will affect copyrights in Europe.

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