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Google Search Results Protected by the First Amendment

12.02.14

A Judge agreed with Google that “search results were protected by the First Amendment and could not be penalized” in spite of claims that Google “monopolizes the search-engine business, has caused grievous harm to CoastNews.com, an arts, entertainment, cultural, and travel web site that also includes the San Francisco Restaurant and Dining Guide.” US News reported that on November 13, 2014 in the case of S. Louis Martin v. Google, Inc., that Judge Ernest J. Goldsmith (San Francisco Superior Court in California) granted Google’s Special Motion to Strike the lawsuit of Dr. Martin.

The US News also offered these comments regarding Google’s challenges in the EU:

The problem faced by Google is that the First Amendment does not exist in European nations. Goldsmith’s decision shows the stark contrast between legal views of Google and search engines like Yahoo in not just the European Union but other nations like Japan and Australia where the tech company has lost cases that determined its search results were defamatory or violated privacy rights.

Since courts outside the US have ruled against Google whether autocomplete may be libelous, it is unclear if Judge Goldsmith’s order will have much impact.

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