Philip Willan reports on the trial of four Google executives in Milan. The case stems from a video depicting harassment of a disabled youth that was uploaded to Google Video and that was not pulled until two months after it was uploaded. Google claims it removed the video as soon as it was made aware of the problems:
Lawyers for Google rejected the idea that the company had legal responsibility for a controversial bullying video posted on its Italian video site as they began their closing arguments Wednesday in the privacy trial of four Google executives.
“It’s the person who uploads the video to Internet who must seek the consent of the person represented in the images. Google can’t do that,” lawyer Giuseppe Vaciago told the Milan court.
David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, Peter Fleischer, its global privacy counselor, George Reyes, the former chief financial officer, and Arvind Desikan, former head of Google Video Europe, are charged with defamation and violation of privacy for having allowed the posting of a mobile-phone video showing the harassment of an autistic youth by classmates on Google Video in Italy.
Read more on Computerworld.
3 Responses to “Google lawyers begin closing arguments in Italian trial”
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Google: Go directly to jail.
There are lots of reasons to be concerned about Google and privacy, but holding four executives criminally liable because of a video uploaded to their site is not in the best interests of the future of the Internet. If you like having sites like YouTube available, then do you really want publishers or service providers to have to review every single upload before it can be shared or for them to refuse to upload material for fear they’ll be criminally prosecuted?
I hope that these four executives are acquitted. I think it’s reasonable to look at procedures for quickly responding to complaints about an upload or comment, but in this case, if they really pulled the video as soon as they were notified of a problem, and since they assisted law enforcement in identifying the youth who harassed the boy and then uploaded the evidence of their harassment, I think they did the right thing and shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Sorry, but Google has become a law unto itself. What, now it thinks that special laws must apply to it?
Get real… Google has done more to whittle away privacy than any other event or organisation in the history of modern mankind (my observation).
These guys can rot in jail as can that fool from Google who suggested that those concerned about privacy have something to hide.
About time that Google’s arrogance came back to bite it on the bum.