Top court or­ders Google to block web­site search re­sults

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

OT­TAWA:

Canada’s top court on Wed­nes­day or­dered Google to re­move a web­site from its world­wide search re­sults, in what some ex­perts are call­ing a land­mark in­ter­na­tional copy­right pro­tec­tion case. The orig­i­nal in­junc­tion, which the Supreme Court up­held, had been re­quested by Cana­dian telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment man­u­fac­turer Equ­ustek So­lu­tions, which suc­cess­fully sued another com­pany for re­la­bel­ing its prod­ucts and pass­ing them off as their own.

Fol­low­ing that lower court rul­ing, Google de-in­dexed 345 web­pages as­so­ci­ated with the of­fend­ing firm in Canada. But the com­pany fled the coun­try and con­tin­ued to mar­ket the coun­ter­feit prod­ucts from an un­known lo­ca­tion. Google balked when Equ­ustek asked it to go fur­ther and de-in­dex all men­tions of the of­fend­ing com­pany world­wide.

The US-based tech gi­ant ar­gued in court that it was not a party to the dis­pute, that such a mea­sure was over­reach, and “that there is free­dom of ex­pres­sion con­cerns that should have tipped the bal­ance against grant­ing the or­der.” The Supreme Court, how­ever, con­cluded: “With­out the in­jec­tive re­lief, it was clear that Google would con­tinue to fa­cil­i­tate that on­go­ing harm” to Equ­ustek.

“The In­ter­net has no bor­ders-its nat­u­ral habi­tat is global,” said the seven-totwo rul­ing. “The only way to en­sure that the in­ter­locu­tory in­junc­tion at­tained its ob­jec­tive was to have it ap­ply where Google op­er­ates-glob­ally.” Some me­dia groups, pub­lish­ers, copy­right or­ga­ni­za­tions and civil lib­er­ties groups worried about the prece­dent it sets.

“The In­ter­net is a global phe­nom­e­non, and there is great risk that gov­ern­ments and com­mer­cial en­ti­ties will see this rul­ing as jus­ti­fy­ing cen­sor­ship re­quests that could re­sult in per­fectly le­gal and le­git­i­mate con­tent dis­ap­pear­ing off the web be­cause of a court or­der in the op­po­site cor­ner of the globe,” com­mented David Christo­pher of Open Me­dia. “That would be a ma­jor set­back to cit­i­zens’ rights to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion and ex­press our­selves freely.”—AFP

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