Google not a publisher

The High Court has declined to act in a case where allegedly defamatory material appears on Google’s blogging platform, blogger.com, on the basis that Google was not a “publisher” in common law. The judge regarded Google’s role as purely passive which took it outside the definition of a publisher, even though Google was aware of the existence of the material. He also suggested that an internet service provider is entitled to leave an allegedly defamatory posting on its blog until the strengths and weaknesses of its case have been investigated. Such advice potentially undermines statutory protection afforded to defamation claimants and could apply more broadly to the liability of ISPs as publishers. However this area of law still remains uncertain.

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