The full judgment of the Federal Supreme Court’s judgment on Google’s autocomplete functionality for search terms was published on Friday last week – the same day, as it happens, as the English High Court judgment on the defamatory character of Sally Bercow’s tweet on Lord McAlpine. Continue reading
Legal Tribune Online’s daily press survey summarizes the reactions to yesterday’s Google judgment and provides links where the articles are not pay-walled. The reaction is mixed: Süddeutsche say that the court brings the idea of responsibility to bear on the internet (“Die Richter etablieren das Prinzip Verantwortung im Internet.”) and finds that the court does not place undue burdens on Google. taz is critical of the fact that the control about what is found on the net is now handed to those who feel insulted (“Netz der Beleidigten”) and objective standards may be undermined.
Frankfurter Allgemeine champions plurality of opinion within the paper: Reinhard Müller in politics is happy to see that Google did not get away with the excuse that it was only the machine who did it, whereas legal correspondent Corrina Budras (“Überzogenes Feingefühl der Richter”) believes that the judges were too pussy-footy and Zeitgeist-ridden. The average internet user fully understands that search terms are the path to a result, but not the result itself, she says, and the court did over-react.
This morning, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has held Google liable for a functionality of its search engine, the autocomplete function. The claimants had requested that Google ceased the publication of autocomplete results that suggested “fraud” or “Scientology” as additional search terms when the claimants’ names were searched. Google will now have to stop the publication of such “predictions” if and when it has become aware that automatically created predictions infringe the rights of third parties.