Google Employees Stand Trial in Italy for Video

David Carl Drummond, head of Google Italy's managing board; George De Los Reyes, a board member; Peter Fleitcher, in charge of privacy protection in Europe; and Arvind Desikan, head of videos for Europe stood trial in Milan, Italy on charges of criminal defamation and violation of privacy.

The case is a result of a video uploaded to Google’s Video service in 2006. Showing several teenage boys teases a boy with Down's Syndrome, the video remained online for nearly two months before it was removed. Despite the fact that Google removed the video within 24 hours of receiving a request to have it taken down, advocacy groups claim the video should never have been posted to the site at all and in allowing it to appear online, Google violated the boy’s privacy.

Google argues that its cooperation led to the bullies being punished and likens the case to someone blaming the mailman for delivering hate mail. The search giant said seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet.

The BBC reports that a Google engineer today took the stand to give evidence that aimed to prove Google had not committed any crime.

The trial has been subjected to several delays. Scheduled to begin on February 4, proceedings were then delayed until February 18. Parties were supposed to appear in court again in June but proceedings were delayed until September because a translator was ill. If the four men are convicted, the case could change the way sites like YouTube operate

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  • Major7up
    I don't think Google did anything wrong here. As big as Google is, they cannot possibly pre-screen every video that comes in by having a human review them. There just isn't enough man power for than and it is unreasonable to expect this anyway. So when they respond to a take-down notice as quickly as they did, they acted reasonably. If anything, having the video on there as long as it was only served to show how uncompassionate and reckless the bullies were. If Google is found guilty I will be upset at what the ruling could mean elsewhere.
    25
  • jcknouse
    This is just stupid.

    Punish the boys who abused/taunted the mentally retarded kid.

    That's the crime.

    If they have never taken that kid in public, that would be an invasion of his privacy.

    However, someone responsible for the care of the child let those people around him with a video camera. That's the person responsible for letting such an act be filmed and put on YouTube.

    If Youtube took it down in a timely fashion after they received the request, that's all they can do.

    The comparison used is kinda off though. YouTube is more like a public bulletin board at your local library.

    Someone can always stick up a dirty picture or obscene writing there. But, YouTube can't be there every second and see every action someone takes in posting. That's beyond reasonable expectation with the millions of submissions they get.
    19
  • jellico
    The 21st century version of, "Kill the messenger." All in the name of social justice. I'm pretty damn tired of people who barely know how to access the Internet being able to exercise power of others who use it.
    19
  • Other Comments
  • jcknouse
    This is just stupid.

    Punish the boys who abused/taunted the mentally retarded kid.

    That's the crime.

    If they have never taken that kid in public, that would be an invasion of his privacy.

    However, someone responsible for the care of the child let those people around him with a video camera. That's the person responsible for letting such an act be filmed and put on YouTube.

    If Youtube took it down in a timely fashion after they received the request, that's all they can do.

    The comparison used is kinda off though. YouTube is more like a public bulletin board at your local library.

    Someone can always stick up a dirty picture or obscene writing there. But, YouTube can't be there every second and see every action someone takes in posting. That's beyond reasonable expectation with the millions of submissions they get.
    19
  • Major7up
    I don't think Google did anything wrong here. As big as Google is, they cannot possibly pre-screen every video that comes in by having a human review them. There just isn't enough man power for than and it is unreasonable to expect this anyway. So when they respond to a take-down notice as quickly as they did, they acted reasonably. If anything, having the video on there as long as it was only served to show how uncompassionate and reckless the bullies were. If Google is found guilty I will be upset at what the ruling could mean elsewhere.
    25
  • jellico
    The 21st century version of, "Kill the messenger." All in the name of social justice. I'm pretty damn tired of people who barely know how to access the Internet being able to exercise power of others who use it.
    19