Google escapes liability for content on third-party sites

LONDON - Google is not liable for defamatory content contained in third-party websites that appear in its search results, a high court judge has ruled.

Google... landmark decision
Google... landmark decision

Google was forced to defend itself after a case was brought against its UK and US operations by the London-based Metropolitan International Schools, which runs distance learning courses in games development under the name Train2Game.

The company claimed that as a publisher of content, the digital media giant was liable for defamatory comments contained in a forum that appeared in a Google search.

In a ruling that could mark a turning point for defamation law, the judge said that as Google is a facilitator and not a publisher of content displayed in search results, charges could not be brought against it. However, he also said that the search engine is responsible for removing or blocking articles if it receives a legitimate complaint about libellous material.