Google not responsible for comments says UK Court

Mon 20 July 2009 17:30, Bas van den Beld

Google not responsible for comments says UK Court

London-based Metropolitan International Schools lost their case against Google last Friday in which they claimed Google was responsible for comments on a forum of a website which appeared in the Google results.

The high court ruled that Google was simply a 'facilitator' and not a publisher of the content, thus making them not responsible.

Judge David Eady (also known as "Mr Justice Eady") said its up to the searcher to to click on a link or not: "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. Google has merely, by the provision of its search service, played the role of a facilitator."

Google does have another responsibility though, namely that of taking down content when receiving a complaint.

The ruling is a victory for search engines and content aggregators around the web. If it's not yours it's not your responsibilty one might say. Things might be a little bit more complicated than that though...

Read the entire ruling here

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