Global search giant Google, as a publisher, is not responsible for providing links to defamatory content, Australia’s High Court has ruled.
This landmark decision overturns the Victorian Supreme Court and Court of Appeal’s $40,000 damages award against Google by Melbourne lawyer George Defteros, hyperlinked to the published article. Era In 2004
In the year In 2016, Defteros sued Google for defamation and won in 2020, after the search engine refused to take down The Age article, and in 2005 he was charged with conspiracy and murder. Months later.
The lawyer is seeking damages from Google as the publisher of the search results and under defamation law for the so-called “underworld clause.”
After Google lost the case and the appeal, it took the case to the Supreme Court, rather than the publisher, like the phone company, it is simply a co-ordinator.
The Supreme Court, by a majority vote before a full bench of all seven judges, confirmed that Google was not the publisher of the defamatory article.
Most of the appellant did not lend aid. Era Transferring the defamatory material contained in the Underworld clause to third-party Google users.
The provision of a hyperlink in a search result “merely facilitated access to the underlying article and was not the act of engaging in a binary process to convey the content of that article”.
Google was not involved in the writing or distribution of the defamation case, the high court majority ruled.
Chief Justice Susan Kiefel and Justice Jacqueline Gleason wrote in a joint ruling: “Although it may refer to the use of a hyperlink Era It gets the reader, that doesn’t make the appellant anything more than a referral provider.
In support of Google’s appeal, the judiciary said that while the search results may contain defamatory material, that was not the case in this case.
“Inclusion of words or phrases accompanying a hyperlink does not show any respect or responsibility for the content of a website – unless certain adopted language or words are used, responsibility will appear in the search results,” he said.
No such language or words can be found in Underworld text search results.
The court ruled that providing a search result, including a hyperlink, had nothing to do with the creation of the text.
“The creation is in no way endorsed or encouraged. [Google]; And the appellant was not implicated by being placed on The Age’s website,” Kiefel and Gleason wrote.