On November 6, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) ordered Google and Google France to withdraw and stop displaying in their search engine results, for a period of five years, nine pictures of British citizen Max Mosley. By doing so, the TGI refused to consider Google as a mere Internet intermediary that provides hosting and/or caching functions. And although the TGI stopped just short from explicitly calling Google an editor, it required that Google build a filtering system to automatically block the pictures at stake and thus provide Mosley with obscurity for his actions. (The decision is available here in French, with a link to a Google Translate English version.)
Mosley's Initial Lawsuits
Mosley is a former President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, which manages the Formula One racing championship. He is also the son of Oswald Mosley, who founded the British Union of Fascists in the 1930’s.
In March 2008, the now defunct UK tabloid News of the World published images of Mosley taken surreptitiously during a sexual party, calling it a "sick Nazi orgy.” The tabloid also posted on its site an edited version of the video from which the images had been extracted, but removed it voluntarily after receiving a letter from Mosley’s solicitors.
Mosley sued News of the World in the UK for invasion of privacy, also claiming that the sexual party did not have a Nazi theme, and sought an injunction to restrain the tabloid from making the video available. The High Court found that publishing these images breached Mosley’s right to privacy. read more »