Google liable in Australia for defamation as a publisher and a re-publisher

Posted On January 19, 2016
In Defamation in Cyberspace / Reply

An Australian court has ordered Google to pay $100,000 damages for defamatory material indexed by its search engine.

In Duffy v. Google Inc, the Supreme Court of South Australia found that Google was liable for defamation as a primary publisher of both automatically-generated search result “snippets” and of auto-complete search suggestions, but only after it had been notified of the defamatory content and failed to remove it.

The court also found Google liable as a secondary publisher of defamatory material contained on third-party websites to which its automatically-generated search results hyperlinked.

You can read accounts of the decision from the Australian and the US perspectives.

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