Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

$200,000 Judgement Against Google In Mokbel Shots Case

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the spoons-made-me-fat dept.

Australia 140

niftydude writes with news of damages awarded in a case over Google image search results "Should Google be held liable for images that appear in its search results? An Australian court has said yes. 'A Melbourne man who won a defamation case against search engine giant Google has been awarded $200,000 in damages. Milorad Trkulja, also known as Michael, sued the multinational over images of him alongside a well-known underworld figure that appeared in its search results. A six-person Supreme Court jury found last month that Mr Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009.'"

cancel ×

140 comments

Due to legal requirements (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962145)

We at Google have had to ban all of Australia from google images. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you,

Google.

Re:Due to legal requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962203)

THIS!

Re:Due to legal requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962385)

Thank my atheistic god. I will not have to worry about more deadly creature articles on Cracked.

Re:Due to legal requirements (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962413)

We here at Internet Tubes And Things had to point out that due to the nature of the internet and the world wide web, banning all of Australia, or even most of the world, wouldn't accomplish anything. Suing google likewise does nothing, and in fact, nuclear weapons are also ineffective. You see, at Internet Tubes And Things, we believe in infinite redundancy and endless replication of data, especially data that's trying to be banned, censored, or access-controlled. Whenever someone tries to remove that product feature, we like to return it to the user in question about a thousand times more.

Thank You,

Internet Tubes And Things

Re:Due to legal requirements (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963619)

I second that.
  -- Barbara Streisand

Re:Due to legal requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963983)

Suing google likewise does nothing

Yep, nothing at all ... except get you some of their money. And why would anyone want that?

Re:Due to legal requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963887)

Which won't stop them getting sued in a different jurisdiction.

Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962149)

This makes me want to find the photo and blanket the internet....

Re:Ridiculous (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962269)

You should do that. You don't have to worry about his mob connections, because they're not true.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

gabebear (251933) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962935)

The linked article doesn't say it, but other articles [dawn.com] say Google may appeal this decision.

I hope they do appeal and don't let this sit as precedence, although it will likely cost them more than $200K just to try to fix this.

Re:Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963975)

Google pretty much has to appeal this decision:

"Google Inc is like the newsagent that sells a newspaper containing a defamatory article," Beach said in his judgement.

"While there might be no specific intention to publish defamatory material, there is a relevant intention by the newsagent to publish the newspaper for the purposes of the law of defamation." Beach said the jury was "entitled to conclude that Google Inc intended to publish the material that its automated systems produced, because that was what they were designed to do upon a search request".

By that logic, Google and other search engines are liable for every piece of defamatory information which can be found on the web. That's a precedent Google can't afford to let stand, not unless they want to pull out of Australia entirely (which would serve Australia right.)

Re:Ridiculous (1)

deniable (76198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964003)

The Google cache should have it.

Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (4, Insightful)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962183)

Or is it just another judge taking glee out of fining wealthy companies for the sake of it?

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (3, Informative)

pokoteng (2729771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962243)

No, unlike American courts, Australian courts take these things seriously. They probably sat there pondering for a long time with whole list of evidence and whatnot, and came to conclusion that indeed, the person is owed $200k worth of damages for defamation. $200k AUD is, assuming $50k salary (relatively low income), only some 4 years worth of salary. It's not a massive jackpot of any means, and most of it probably goes to the lawyer fees. You'll barely afford half a suburban flat with it here. Evidence must have stacked that the image results search for him has made him suffer some level of financial and other damages, but not as great as people seem to think. I don't know the exact court details, but some poor judge sat there and added up the sums for this.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962343)

IOW, it's only $200K, a drop in the bucket for google, why not make them pay! Everybody line up for the gravy train! Doesn't matter if google merely shows what it finds on the web, they got the money, you too can sue.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962441)

No, unlike American courts, Australian courts take these things seriously. They probably sat there pondering for a long time with whole list of evidence and whatnot, and came to conclusion that indeed, the person is owed $200k worth of damages for defamation. $200k AUD is, assuming $50k salary (relatively low income), only some 4 years worth of salary. It's not a massive jackpot of any means, and most of it probably goes to the lawyer fees. You'll barely afford half a suburban flat with it here. Evidence must have stacked that the image results search for him has made him suffer some level of financial and other damages, but not as great as people seem to think. I don't know the exact court details, but some poor judge sat there and added up the sums for this.

In America, truth of the information stated is an affirmative defense against libel and slander. So if you happen to be standing next to a total douche when I snap a picture, that's your tough luck. The information is true so it's not slanderous or libelous. If I photoshop one or the other of you into the picture to make a false association, that could be libelous.

And the information isn't really defamatory. Two people standing in the same place at the same time is no big deal. I've stood next to THOUSANDS of people I don't know and who the hell cares?

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (3, Informative)

SirAdelaide (1432553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962525)

The issue was that after the shooting incident, his photo was wrongly associated with the name of a violent gang. He might have been shot by that gang, but wasn't part of it. A website wrongly used his photo with the wrong name, and after indexing that site, Google showed his photo when people searched for a particular criminal. He asked for Google to block that photo when those search terms were used, and they didn't. That is when his lawyers said he had a case.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962597)

then he can bring a case against the content creators, that website. If millions of people are allowed to sue search engines for merely not liking the results, then search engines will simply not work with the influx of people who decide to change results because they don't like them. Spammers, who don't like results, will get in on the action. But hey it's easier to sue one big entity vs doing the hard work to track down the content creators and get them to stop.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962765)

He did and the content was removed from their site, but google images kept the association, he asked google to remove it but they refused...

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964749)

The problem is, counter-intuitively you can defame people with the truth.

Lets say Barack Obama has serious Asthma (I dont know, I'm just making this up as an innocuous example). Well, lets say he uses an asthma puffer quite regularly, in fact a bit more than the doctor recomends, he's a busy man and easier to huff a puffer than follow a full prevention plan after all. Ventolin is also a drug that the more you use the more dependent you can become of it, despite the fact its also utterly essential for warding off an asthma attack. In this case his only real crime is one we all commit from time to time, he's not paying his doctor enough attention.

Now if I print "Barack Obama heavily drug dependent" and print whole stories about ommitting only the specific detail of which drug , I'm defaming barack Obama by creating the impression of him being some sort of henious depraved drug addict, despite the fact that technically I haven't told a lie. In an American court this would not be defamation and despite the fact that I'm harming the man greatly with my news empire for someting he really ought not be, he has no recourse because I told no lie, I defamed his reputation with the truth.

Now despite whats being said here, in Australia, as of recently the truth really is a defense. In other words you could do the same to someone here. But previously the asthma libel could indeed be held to be defamatory.

Its not as simple as "Did he tell the truth". You *can* defame someone with the truth, but usually they have no defense against you doing that to them.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962783)

What an ignorant comment. The 200k is supposed to be compensatory damages, not punitive.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962865)

Except that google does not host content whatsoever, and just directs people to find the images. So only an idiot would think google is responsible for the image. So yes, Only in Australian courts is where you find people who take things seriously, but at the same time, you're all just as stupid if not dumber, so the effect is just the same

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963881)

Except that Google creates and keeps their association data, linking the gang name to his picture. That data wasn't created anywhere else, Google made the association through their algorithms, and stored it long after the original postings were deleted or corrected. Which means you're stupid.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963957)

Google cache?

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963639)

I don't think they are any different as far as common sense goes. Often cases start out winning in the lower courts and are overturned the higher up the case travels. This is far from over.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (1)

pokoteng (2729771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963759)

Except if you read TFA it says it's a decision by supreme court, which by I assume the high court of Australia, which is the highest and final court of appeal for making decisions on. There isn't much else to go from here, AFAIK.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964311)

A supreme court is not the high court. Supreme courts are the highest courts in each state, the high court is the court of appeal for them. Though it's not that likely they'd grant special leave to appeal this particular case.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (1)

pokoteng (2729771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964435)

I stand corrected on that note then. But yes, most likely this is the end of it and google will pay up.

Effing Oz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962249)

Damn third world countries.

Re:Effing Oz (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963661)

Did you forget the definition of third world? Australia is an American ally, that makes it a First World country.

Re:Effing Oz (2)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964057)

While Australia is an American ally, and Australia is also a first world country, it should be noted that the two facts are not in any way linked.

America is allies with several countries which are not first world countries, and several first world countries are not listed as American allies.

Re:Effing Oz (0)

zill (1690130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964161)

it should be noted that the two facts are not in any way linked

Except by the definition of "first world country" [wikipedia.org] . Other than that, absolutely nothing.

Re:Effing Oz (3, Informative)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964253)

You could at least read the article you linked to. Your definition is more than two decades out of date.

After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a new meaning that was more applicable to the times. Since its original definition, the term First World has come to be largely synonymous with developed countries or highly developed countries (depending on which definition is being used).

First World countries in general have very advanced economies and very high Human Development Indexes. On the other hand, the United Nations defined the First World on the wealth of the nation's gross national product (GNP). The definition of First World is now less concrete than during the Cold War.

Re:Effing Oz (0)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964407)

I have mod points, and I looked for the option to mark this as "Logic Troll", but couldn't find it. What gives?

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962279)

TFS doesn't really paint a good picture:

from TFA:
"Google search results also linked to a page on a now defunct website, Melbourne Crime, which had published photos labelled with his name.
Mr Trkulja said he had never initially intended to sue Google but had been galvanised into action after his request for the content to be removed from its searches in 2009 was not granted.
Supreme Court Justice David Beach this morning said in awarding the damages that the case was about ‘‘vindication and ‘nailing the lie’’’. "

and also:

"The company used the ‘‘innocent dissemination’’ defence, arguing it was providing links to the content without knowing that the material was defamatory.
However, the jury found Google’s defence of the images broke down because it did not take any steps to remove the images from its searches once Mr Trkulja’s lawyers contacted the company. The jury found the search engine was not liable for the search results themselves, as Mr Trkulja had incorrectly filled out a form for reporting offensive material by not including the URL of the content to which he objected. "

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962303)

That depends on whether you think your reputation is worth $200,000 dollars.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962347)

Or is it just another judge taking glee out of fining wealthy companies for the sake of it?

It's probably just computer illiteracy; the idea that a relatively dumb search should never imply anything and that the people seeing the results have less brains than the search engine.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962831)

When your DA fake evidence in capital cases not a problem but if your rich and did not get a fair shake problem.
Fuck you nobody is treated fair in any American court.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963671)

The American courts are not predicated on justice or fairness. They are predicated on the placement of blame.

Re:Did this cause $200,000 worth of damages? (3, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963017)

I don't think anyone is accusing Australian government agencies of exercising common sense at this point. The UK is like USA Part 2: The Less Rights Version, and Australia is like UK Part 2: Even Less Rights.

Dig a little deeper... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962189)

Conveniently omitted by the original poster;

"However, the jury found Google’s defence of the images broke down because it did not take any steps to remove the images from its searches once Mr Trkulja’s lawyers contacted the company."

He asked Google to do something about it, and they refused. Hence the suing. Seems kinda reasonable to me.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962211)

Seems kinda reasonable to me.

No, it's not. It's bullshit. I expect unfiltered results when searching.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962235)

When you find a search engine that does that, let us know!

Re:Dig a little deeper... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963089)

You're right. It won't happen unless I run my own crawler myself. Eh, maybe when I get a spare machine... However, if we all step up the demand, we might get what we need.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962467)

So you expect your search results to display incorrect data and throw up false positives. Because this is exactly what the case was about.
The man was shot in the back in a completely un-related incident and not a criminal himself. Yet google tags him as "criminal" just by googling his name.
If it was your name presented in the same context as a crime syndicate you'd also feel slighted. The man is completely justified in sueing.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963291)

The search engine is not incorrect - there are indeed pages that mention both "Trkulja" and "criminal". Mr Trkulja is incorrect to believe that Google is "tagging" him in any way. Google is merely presenting the results of a keyword search, not offering some value judgement.

Mr Trkulja's name *is* in the context of criminals - he is the victim of a criminal attack. That does not make him a criminal himself.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962485)

Even stuff that is not factual and is undeservingly harmful to the reputation of an individual? What possible value is that to a society? Plus, how does it help Google's reputation of providing useful search results if it provides crap content? It's search results are already devalued by the number of spam links, park domains, seo pages and shit.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963507)

What possible value is that to a society?

What possible value is your comment to society? None, because I decided it is so! Plus, your comment is an eyesore, so I hope you get arrested.

All distinctions are arbitrary, and "value" is subjective.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (2)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963917)

Someone posts a article that accidentally mentions your name in relation to a scandal (say child-pornography for example. It was supposed to be a different name, but the person got it wrong.
Someone else goes to your LinkedIn Profile (or something) and grabs a photo, which gets linked to the article.
Google caches the search and the result.

The original poster fixes the problem and pulls the content; Google refuses to.

Then you go for a job, the potential employer goes to your LinkedIn profile and grabs the photo and does a search on that in google (which is common practice).
They find a result for the photo and your name linked to a defunct article on child-pornography.
Don't expect a call.

This is the sort of thing the courts are there to protect us all from. Getting Google to pay a small sum in order to motivate them to prevent issues like this in the future is a good thing.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964185)

I shall refer you to this [slashdot.org] :
The only way is for false accusations not to matter. That means no vigilantes; it means the law deals seriously with people who are dangerous paedophiles (so people have confidence that they don't need to intervene themselves) and it means people who cause harm to the falsely accused, for example by firing them from work, should be forced to fully and completely compensate them for that harm. - (emphasis mine)

They find a result for the photo and your name linked to a defunct article on child-pornography.
Don't expect a call.

When people act in bad faith, which is what that would be, then they should pay the price. It's the believers, the followers that are more dangerous. They are the bad actors that are responsible for the hysteria. We need to pound it into their brains not to believe accusations without seeing direct evidence.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962293)

Google did it's job and found sites that contained his name and his image from a website and reported that result to the searcher. It was the website that he had a problem with so he should have dealt with that website. Suing Google and Yahoo for doing their jobs is just wrong. Google and yahoo did not create the content, they just provided results that link to the content. I do not want Google, Yahoo, or another other search engine to omit results. I do not want to see something like the Chinese censorship of search results.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962393)

Google or Yahoo has no interest in dissemenating unfactual, or misinformation that harms the reputation of an individual. They, like any other media, are responsible for what they publish on their websites. If the New York Times published a picture of Milorad Trkulja with a caption "Melbourne Crime - Underworld - Ganglands", and did not print a retraction when contacted by Trkulja's lawyers, they would be guilty of defamation. Google and Yahoo had every chance to correct error, but chose to ignore it until Mr. Trkulja decided to sue them.

Re:Dig a little deeper... (2)

Namarrgon (105036) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963239)

What error? Google isn't claiming that Trkulja may or may not be a gangster. They're claiming that there are pages that mention Trkjula in the context of gangsters, and here are the URLs.

Dig even deeper.. (5, Insightful)

cyssero (1554429) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962383)

"Mr Trkulja had incorrectly filled out a form for reporting offensive material by not including the URL of the content to which he objected."

Hello, Google? Yes, you know that image, I want it taken down as it defames me. Just do it and don't ask me these frivolous questions

Re:Dig a little deeper... (1)

HermMunster (972336) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963707)

The problem is that Google didn't place them there. Also, if Google were to take everything down they'd be overwhelmed by the work. Besides asking an entity like Google to remove something is a form of censorship. I'm sure Google doesn't like to always cave to censorship requests. What defies common sense is that now everyone gets to sue because they don't like what the search index says, and they get to sue the wrong entity. I'm sure the information is in Bing and other search engines too, so how did they keep from getting sued?

Easy as 1,2,3 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962217)

1. Find dodgy bloke and get photo taken with said bloke
2. Upload
3. ???
4. Profit!

Next up: suing yellow- and whitepages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962247)

Seriously: WTF?
Still such a sad world to live in

If it was my company (4, Insightful)

msheekhah (903443) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962257)

I would stop doing business in countries that don't seem to understand the difference between a search engine that indexes the internet and the original site that hosted the material. Screw them.

Re:If it was my company (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962395)

I would stop doing business in countries that don't seem to understand the difference between a search engine that indexes the internet and the original site that hosted the material. Screw them.

I'm quite sure the court did perfectly understand the difference. But Google makes lots of money from its search engine, so the court expected Google to use some of that money to remove search results that pointed to websites defaming this man. The court didn't even expect Google to actively search and remove such search results, just to remove them when requested by the plaintiff's lawyer.

Re:If it was my company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962411)

You're making an invalid assumption: you think it's stupidity that's behind these judgements.

In reality, it's nationalism. See, countries, by their very nature, are absurdly jealous beings. Look how Google has been treated in China, for example.

So, there is a decent possibility that someone (through the grape vine) is putting the nails to Google, just to drive them out of the market. Is Google an Australian company? No. Would some Australians prefer that an Australian company service their needs? Probably. Are there corrupt people in high places that would love to kick the biggest competitor for search engines out of their country, then offer up their own incomplete version? Probably. Just protectionism.

Will Australians be incensed if Google suddenly drops them? Yes. Will that matter to the people in power? Only if it looks like they'll lose their jobs over it. Otherwise, they can look forward to some payoffs under the table for keeping Australia strong or whatever.

Re:If it was my company (0)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962545)

don't seem to understand the difference between a search engine that indexes the internet and the original site that hosted the material.

Slippery slope, though. Google decided they want to add the ability to censor content. For one example, back when they wanted to do business in china, google.cn was able to spin results the way that government wants ( http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-06-04-n13.html [blogoscoped.com] )). No doubt they do similar censorship for other regionally outlawed content too.

Once they add such censorship features, they're not really a content-neutral search engine anymore.

Re:If it was my company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963117)

Sorry, but it's fair to ask , who's name is on the door? When you do a search on Google, it's Google's name up top and it's fair enough to approach them if they are providing the material in question, which is the search and its results. They weren't fined for indexing the image, they were fined for failing to take action, after it was pointed out to them, about the incorrect information which they were displaying to the user.

Re:If it was my company (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962757)

Not doing business in Australia would cost Google money.

Re:If it was my company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962925)

If the word of ex-employees paints an accurate picture, deporting Lars would probably be a net gain for Australia.

Re:If it was my company (1, Troll)

jschrod (172610) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962971)

I'm not from AUS, so this is 2ndary info.

Some site had misleading info labeling an innocent as criminal.

Said innocent succeeded in getting the site to remove respective material.

Google still delivered incriminating material through its search results.

Complaining to Google didn't help. (As far as it's reported, it seems that represseive dictatorships like China hav no problem complaining to Google and get a reaction; but that course ain't available for a private person.)

Successfully suing Google might get some relief, though I doubt it.

Would you please cite any factual errors in the text above, with references? (I'd like to have references from you and not the other way round, since these are criminal charges, and we all respect innocent-until-proven-guilty, don't we?)

If you aren't able to do this, IMNSHO there is a difference between the original (now deleted) content and the search-engine delivered (still defamotory) content.

Re:If it was my company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41964069)

While I agree with you in principle, Google does host all of the cached thumbnails. So it is *also* hosting the images. It's still a stupid ruling. I wonder how google responded to the takedown request. The summary doesn't say and this is slashdot so I ain't gonna RTFA.

How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962335)

Aside from the logistical nonsense of charging Google for indexing someone else's images, how is it defamation if it's true? I mean, there's photographic evidence in this case...

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

deniable (76198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962397)

Truth isn't a complete defense for defamation. Where's the public interest?

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962503)

In England, truth is not an absolute defense against defamation like it is in the USA. Maybe the same is true in Australia?

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

gabebear (251933) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962847)

It's pretty screwed up that anyone could lose $200K for saying something thats true; sounds like the English/Australians should petition their governments. I'm glad I have no legal ties to those countries.

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962909)

No, in Australia if the alleged defamatory statement is substantially true then that is a complete defence.

Justification: It is a complete defence to an action for defamation to prove that the defamatory statement is substantially true.Substantial truth means that provided the justification meets the substance of the imputation, minor inaccuracy will not exclude the defence. The publisher’s motive is irrelevant, if the publisher can show that the imputation is true then it does not matter that he/she was motivated by malice. http://www.law.uts.edu.au/comslaw/factsheets/defamation.html [uts.edu.au]

I don't see how publishing an unfaked photograph of two people together can be defamatory: every police or court official caught in a photo with a criminal would have a defamation case. However, I can see it is as defamatory of the caption you associate with the published picture says, "Bloggs is bosom buddies with a gangland boss." if that statement is not true. I could also see a technical argument for defamation in returning that image as a search result for "best friends of gangland figures" but I recognise the boundary of stupidity when it comes to the real world. This litigation seems misdirected... but it was launched at the biggest cash cow not the sanest target.

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (5, Informative)

bug1 (96678) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962875)

Its not true that he is an underworld figure, yet his image (not the underworld figure) and accompaying story stated that he was.

The summary didnt mention that someone hired a hitman to kill him due to the mistaken identity, he was shot but survived.

Still, its debatable how much responsiblity google should shoulder for further promoting the defemation.

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963223)

+1 to this please!
In short, a google search linked this man to the underworld and subsequently he was shot in the head, but survived.

I'm all for people taking responsibility for their own doings but this guy was SHOT IN THE HEAD as a result of being portrayed (by Google) as an underworld figure.

What I find interesting is that google has developed algorithms that have automatically generated these links and the subsequent content delivered in the search result on this person. In this case the links and content were incorrect and resulted in deformation of a person followed by the events mentioned above.

Is Google somehow immune to generating false information and publishing this on the internet, simply because the process that was used is automated. Imagine if this were to occur in news media?

Re:How is it defamation if it's true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41964353)

He does look like Tony Mokbel [wikipedia.org] a little, but the latter is serving a life in prison, so mistaken identity is unlikely. This is not to mention that according to your logic Google should be sued for the attempt directly, not just defamation, right?

Troll or fool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962337)

He has done same to Yahoo it reads.. and it seems he does not understand what search engine is or he is just simply a troll to get money as much as possible from those big companies. He is "an elder at Orthodox Church" ? will get bad reputation for Orthodox Church. (I do not understand why that was mentioned in the article. Does it mean he is nothing unless he is in that church ?)

How was he defamed? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962371)

Was he not actually standing next to the well-known douchebag? Was he photoshopped in?

Re:How was he defamed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962431)

Yes

Re:How was he defamed? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962699)

My understanding was that when you typed in his name, Google found images of him from various websites as well as images from other websites of known underworld felons and put the thumb nails of these images side by side. The inference being that he was associated with these underworld felons.

Its seems he then asked Google to modify its searches to dissassociate him with these underworld figures and they refused.

Legal proceeding followed and the courts found that by their search engine associating his image with those of underworld felons, Google have slandered him. Note that Yahoo were also found guilt of the same offemce.

So he ends up with a bit over AUD $425k (USD $441) for his trouble.

Of course the elephant in the room for all this is why a gunman chose to enter a St Albans restaurant and shoot him in the first place? Or for that matter, knowing St Albans, where you would find a restaurant there worth dining in ;-)

Re:How was he defamed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963113)

Note that Google 'refused' because he didn't specify the URL of the content to which he objected when he filled out the appropriate form.

Re:How was he defamed? (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963305)

So he ends up with a bit over AUD $425k (USD $441) for his trouble.

I find the lack of "k" in the USD humorous.. completely untrue, but humorous.

Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41962445)

I'm guessing hundreds of thousands of people just like me have been googling this guy's name.

Of interest, I found this image:

http://ozsoapbox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/michael-trkulja-original-herald-sun-hitman-article-2007.jpg [ozsoapbox.com]

This guy is clearly one of "those people." Sorry, but I just don't have respect for them. I'm not going to bother defining for anyone what I mean by "those people" but I will say that "those people" tend to somehow think they can control information and by extension opinions and even thought. I'm sorry, but we live in a world with "an internet" now. Information is inherently free and free-flowing. He's a media person. He hasn't accepted that information... data... media...content... it's all out there and it cannot be controlled without pulling the plug on it. And humanity will not stand for it.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962873)

uh oh...seems you steal images from ozsopbox.com. You must be one of "those people" that you talk about.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963051)

Well, duh. He's a criminal or hitman or something. Google it.

Clearly he thinks he can strong-arm the legal process as he does with everyone else in his life.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963071)

Wow, that link said "I steal images from ozsoapbox.com". Now if only this guy could get his picture stolen more, to the point of becoming fully censored.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963169)

Odd. I have tried this link from other networks and other computers. I do not see this. It's not stealing. It's linking. Are you as confused as the rest of the media who still don't understand the internet?

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (1)

deniable (76198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964081)

Maybe you should sue Ozsoapbox for defamation. They've called you a thief. Maybe its an erroneous accusation.

Deep-link bounce: how I fixed it... (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963177)

Your deep-link to the image will get bounced to a "I steal images from ozsoapbox.com" If you want to see what the parent-post pointed to, it's just a picture of the guy's face in a 500x449 JPEG image, with a dateline of November 20, 2007, 12:00am and text below the headline saying "Former music promoter Michael Trkulja was shot in the back by a hitman waring a balaclava while dining at a St Albans restaurant in 2004." So the incident was 2004, the news article is 2007, and the lawsuit culmination (without appeals that are sure to happen) is November 2012. If you want to see the picture yourself, add a --referer component to it, and wget it yourself like so:
wget --referer=http://ozsoapbox.com/ "http://ozsoapbox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/michael-trkulja-original-herald-sun-hitman-article-2007.jpg"

Re:Deep-link bounce: how I fixed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41964427)

Just disable Javascript in order to see the image. There is more to this picture than just his face, he looks like a mafia-type guy, and the fact that someone bothered to hire a hitman to go after "a former music promoter" only reinforces this feeling. He definitely belongs to the underworld and probably knows Tony Mokbel personally.

P.S. please promote this comment to see Slashdot hit with a $200,000 christmas present for Mr Trkulja.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963209)

I love when people Google shit and stop at the first search result. Google is not the end all be all. Case in point most Google results for this man's name do not neglect to link back to the original story which landed this man in the "australian underground". Milorad Trkulja was shot in the back by an unidentified criminal. That's the only link this man has with criminal activity.

Re:Oh Streissand effect... how I love you... (1)

deniable (76198) | about a year and a half ago | (#41964087)

I thought 'blame the victim' was standard practice.

shot in back by unknown assailant ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962639)

most people live their entire lives without being exposed to THIS kind of violence, would not be high on my friends list ,and i certainly would avoid his

yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962763)

just like all the pictures of republicans next to rapists on election day in the papers.

nobody can deny the medias manipulation of images to shape(not report) the news.

oh thats not true regards

mike

public knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41962961)

If you don't want to be seen doing something in public, don't do it in public. This includes police officers who don't want to be filmed violating a suspect's rights and celebrity figures. If you want something to be private, try doing it in private. Last time I checked, Google only took pictures that were in public view... So until they start using drones (probably already in testing in socal already) that pick locks (probably considered "evil") and invade your home (also "evil"), quit whining and use some sense.

WHY IS THIS OLD NEWS NEW NEWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963275)

He already sued Yahoo for 225k. WTF do we care if now he's doing the same shit to Google? Oh...thats right....its Google...and this is /.

Re:WHY IS THIS OLD NEWS NEW NEWS? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963745)

Because Yahoo hired monkeys for lawyers who then told the court that Yahoo search are publishing. Google defended themselves properly and the Aussie court is the chump this time.

Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963711)

Stupid. If the picture were actually taken, assuming it's not fabricated....screw the scum

Milorad Trkulja should sue himself (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963733)

He has defamed himself. His actions have labeled him as a retard.

What would be really interesting (2)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#41963849)

What would be really interesting is if Tony Mokbel sued Google for ruining his criminal reputation.

So does this set precedence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41963925)

So does this set precedence in Australian law making it illegal for all who use their likeness in a captured state on the interenet; even if they are police or government officials? What about cctv's using their video to capture a criminal committing murder and theft. If its only when viewed online, how does that differentiate from other digital devices. Slippery slope..

Boo-hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41964559)

Awww, poor weedo money-grubbing corporation. So misunderstood in its efforts to copy everyone else.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...