Google ordered to remove Mosley’s orgy images, to appeal the ruling

Last Updated: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 19:30

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

London: Google has been ordered by a French court to remove from its search results all the links to the images of former F1 chief Max Mosley at an orgy citing breach of privacy.

The ruling came after Max Mosley had filed the lawsuit in September claiming that the Internet search giant had not done enough to eliminate the links to nine images of him with prostitutes.

In 2008, Mosley successfully sued the now-defunct News of the World, a British newspaper for publishing a video and some images of him taking part in a sadomasochistic sex party.

He won the case and was awarded 60,000 pounds, or about $96,000, in damages, although the former F1 boss had confessed to taking part in the orgy at the court hearing.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris on Wednesday backed Mosley’s appeal and asked Google to filter out all nine photos of Mosley from its worldwide search results.

However, Google said it would appeal the ruling. The US-based company also said that the decision would limit freedom of speech on the Internet.

As part of the decision ordered by the French court, Google must pay Mosley 1 euro in compensation and it will be fined 1,000 euros every time an image appears on its search engine, beginning from early next year.

“It’s a fair decision,” said Clara Zerbib, Mosley’s lawyer. “This case isn’t about censoring information, but about complying with French law.”

Earlier in 2011, Mosley won a similar court case in France when the newspaper’s owner News Corp was ordered to pay £32,000 ($48,000) in costs and damages for circulating the copies of the paper and the video across the Channel.

Google’s associate general counsel, Daphne Keller, said in a statement: “This is a troubling ruling with serious consequences for free expression and we will appeal it. Even though we already provide a fast and effective way of removing unlawful material from our search index, the French court has instructed us to build what we believe amounts to a censorship machine.”

While Mosley has filed a similar suit against Google in Germany, in which a ruling in the case is expected early next year, the tech giant is also facing a number of privacy lawsuits in Europe.



First Published: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 19:30

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