Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In what court watchers have called a significant win for libel defendants, a British judge has found for Google in a defamation case. Metropolitan International Schools had sued Google over search engine results which turned up comments that Metropolitan did not like. Mr. Justice Eady, ruling for Google, wrote that the company was a "facilitator" and not the writer or the publisher of the comments, concluding "[T]here are two reasons which in my judgment justify setting aside the Master's order. First, I do not consider that on the evidence before me the Third Defendant can be regarded as a publisher of the words complained of, whether before or after notification. Accordingly, on the evidence before me, I can conclude that the Claimant would have "no reasonable prospect of success". Secondly, I regard the misrepresentations and omissions, as to the nature of the cause of action relied upon, as sufficiently serious to justify setting aside the Master's order in any event." Here's more from the Guardian. Here's a link to the text of the ruling.