Google: Another Glitch Down Under

May 1, 2020

DarkCyber spotted this story from ‘Publisher’ Google Ordered to Pay $40k in Damages for Defaming Melbourne Lawyer after Court Ruling. Aside from the money, the key point in the write up is the word “publisher.” I wrote Google: The Digital Gutenberg in 2008. The book is now out of print because another wonky publisher nuked itself.

In that monograph, I pointed out that Google was indeed a publisher, a digital Gutenberg. Auto generated pages were content, results lists with YouTube recommendations were reports, and nifty boxes summarizing Machu Picchu were the equivalent of old school pasteboard baseball cards. (Just try and steal those in the 1950s, gentle reader.)

Few agreed with my conclusions in Google: The Digital Gutenberg. Now, 12 years later, it seems as if a Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia) has seen the light.

According to the article, the person who triumphed over Googzilla allegedly said:

“Her Honour has found that Google is a publisher of the defamatory imputations once Google receives notice of a defamatory publication online as a result of the use of its search engine.”

The key word: Publisher. If the other Five Eyes embrace this decision, DarkCyber what other interesting consequences might manifest themselves.

Stephen E Arnold, May 1, 2020


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