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Google Triumphs In Long-Running Battle Accusing Firm Of Publishing Defamatory Web Links

Google has come out on top of a leading legal battle that has been in the works for a while now. The search engine giant was accused of publishing defamatory links on the web, pertaining to an incident from 2004.

Google denied being affiliated with the link and the story called ‘The Age’ that really went about tainting the image of attorney George Defteros. The latter represented all those Australians killed in the high-profile gangland killings in Melbourne in that same year. Moreover, he even faced a few charges himself too.

Today, the Guardian published a new report in this regard, adding how the highest court in Australia has denied any wrongdoing on the part of Google. They say the tech giant didn’t play any role in writing, publishing, or releasing content linked to the matter.

A total of five out of the seven judges handling the case declared Google innocent of any participation in the event. They also spoke in regards to how the link simply allowed access to this story and didn’t have any other role.

The Australian High Court even canceled out all claims made by Defteros related to Google’s search results trying to encourage users of the site to carry on visiting the story. It just so happened that one person that grabbed the link had been searching for content of the same sort, the judges added.

Meanwhile, a few judges did rule that the case may have been flipped in case the link was affiliated with sponsored content but it wasn’t. They also boldly declared how Google making an appeal was unnecessary and didn’t need any further discussion to come forward regarding this particular subject.

Defteros first arrived on the scene in 2016, when he filed a lawsuit against Google for defaming him. Then in December of 2021, we saw the link being deleted altogether as it lost the initial court battle on the subject.

But Google acted smartly and timely. The company continued to put forward arguments related to how the situation would be different because it would then be held accountable for every single page of content that happened to be related to the link. And to avoid that, it would need to be censored for the whole world wide web.

While we didn’t see any major success with the initial appeal made in 2020, and in addition, Defteros was told he’d be paid $40,000 in damages linked to the incident. But Google was not going to sit silently.

It involved the Australian High Court and asked it to intervene in January. And as you can imagine, the whole decision ended up impacting so many internet companies working across Australia.

Now, with a special thanks to Google, they don’t have to worry as much about particular search queries landing them into hot water. Similarly, they may not also have to worry about auto-produced links as the accuser would need to show evidence about deliberate actions to promote negativity.


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