Australian court finds Google guilty of libel

A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012. (Reuters/MARK...

A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012. (Reuters/MARK BLINCH)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 AM ET

An Australian court put a damper on Google's claims it's not responsible for the web content that shows up in its search results.

The Supreme Court of Victoria found the Internet giant guilty of libel for failing to remove links to sites with false and defamatory information.

The plaintiff is Milorad Trkulja, 62, an entertainment promoter whose top 10 Google search yielded sites that implied he was a member of organized crime after he was shot in the back by an unknown attacker in 2004.

Google argued it isn't responsible for the libel because its "fully automated" search engine simply disseminates material published by others.

But the court found Google guilty, saying it failed to remove the links from its search results after Trkulja's lawyer warned the company of the "grossly defamatory" content.

Judge David Beach ordered Google to pay Trkulja $208,000.

Now, his top search results are about his case against Google.


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