Argentinian court rules on search engine liability

The Argentina Court of Appeals in Civil Matters, Division D, has ruled that unless web search engines have been duly notified about the existence of illicit content indexed by them, they are not liable for the content of third-party websites.

As Obligado & Cia reports, the Court of Appeals overturned a first instance ruling that Google and Yahoo! were liable for the mental distress caused to a singer and model whose name and image appeared on websites containing pornographic content. Users could access these websites by typing the singer’s name into the search field of Google Inc and Yahoo!

According to the Court of Appeals, the civil liability of the web search engines arises only after the injured party has requested the blocking of online content that is considered to be harmful, and such request has been ignored.

In this regard, it is necessary that the injured party acts in good faith, identifying the specific content and location of the material to be blocked. Absence such notification, there is no liability on the search engine.

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