Google suggests defamation
10:37 AM PDT 7/24/2009 by Eriq Gardner
A lot of folks think the British are crazy when it comes to defamation, but never insult someone in French.
Two companies, Direct Energie and CNFDI, sued Google because when users entered the company name in the search browser, the Google Suggest feature automatically completed their query with the French word for "scam." Google works by algorithm, based on the most common searches, but that hasn't stopped those companies for suing Google for defamation.
Now comes stunning news from TechDirt that Direct Energie won their lawsuit! The French judge there declared that no algorithm could justify the prejudice caused by Google and ordered Google to change the results. Another French judge in the CNFDI case declared that Google could be found liable because the company had informed Google of the situation and so Google had no safe harbors from liability. The judge, though, backed away from ordering Google to make changes, citing free speech and citizens' rights.
Alas, we decided to check on all of the major film studios in Hollywood. It seems that Google Suggest believes that most people searching 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, Disney, etc. want jobs. Hell, that might be true. Don't sue.
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