Italy convicts 3 Google employees
Posted 2/24/10 , edited 2/24/10
What? I can't understand how anyone would see how this could be a sensible trial. The video was terrible and it was removed, but how could these guys be at fault?

Source -> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2360396,00.asp


An Italian court had convicted three Google employees over an offensive video that was uploaded to the company's video service, despite the fact that none of the men had anything to do with the video's production.

Google called the ruling "astonishing" and said it would appeal.

At issue is a 2006 video uploaded to Google Video featuring students at a Turin, Italy school bullying an autistic classmate. Google removed the video after being notified of its existence by Italian police, and helped authorities track down those responsible. Those individuals were eventually sentenced to 10 months community service.

The case did not end there, however. A public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees – chief legal officer David Drummond, senior product marketing manager Arvind Desikan, global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, and former chief financial officer George Reyes, who left the company in 2008 – on charges of criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code.

On Wednesday, a judge convicted Drummond, Fleischer, and Reyes for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All four men were found not guilty of criminal defamation.

"To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video's existence until after it was removed," Matt Sucherman, vice president and deputy general counsel for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, wrote in a blog post. "In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload."

Sucherman argued that "it is outrageous that they have been subjected to a trial at all" and said that Google "will appeal this astonishing decision because the Google employees on trial had nothing to do with the video in question."

He went on to say that the decision "attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built."

"European Union law was drafted specifically to give hosting providers a safe harbor from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence," Sucherman continued. "The belief, rightly in our opinion, was that a notice and take down regime of this kind would help creativity flourish and support free speech while protecting personal privacy."

If sites like Blogger, YouTube, or social networks like Facebook had to approve every single piece of information that is uploaded before it appears live on the Web "then the Web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear," he concluded.

It was a busy day for Google. Earlier, the company revealed that the European Union had opened an investigation into whether the company intentionally buried search results featuring competitors.
Posted 2/24/10
Already read it in the Youtube blog.
kinda confused with how the video got there in the first place anyway.
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Posted 2/24/10
It's all about Silvio Berlusconi's attempt to monopolize the media in Italy.
It's all part of a campaign; check this out Italy's Government Seeks Control Over Online Videos
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Posted 5/3/10
OP has nuked; feel free to recreate this thread. Check for dupe threads before recreating, though.
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