Can someone tell this Italian Judge what Google Video is?

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Sometimes I despair of Europe, even though I’m proud of what can be achieved here. But really, guys, can we get it together?

At the same time the European Union is investigating a pretty flimsy anti-trust complaint against Google, it’s conspiciously ignoring a case in Italy where three Google executives have been found guilty on a ridiculous charge. Here is the bizarre story.

An Italian court yesterday convicted two current and one former Google exec in a trial over a video showing a teenager being bullied. The Google Italy employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video of bullying of a teenager with autism to be posted on YouTube Google Video in late 2006.

Despite the fact that Google removed the video within hours of being notified of its existence, Judge Oscar Magi (pictured) absolved the three of defamation but convicted them of privacy violations. The three executives have received a suspended six-month sentence, while a fourth defendant was acquitted. Google is appealing the sentences on their behalf.

Google has responded in a justifiably vociferous blog post calling this a “serious threat to the web in Italy”. Frankly they are right.

As Google explains:

In late 2006 Students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. We also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it and she was subsequently sentenced to 10 months community service by a court in Turin, as were several other classmates who were also involved. In these rare but unpleasant cases, that’s where our involvement would normally end.

However, a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict the four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes. These guys left the company in 2008.

The charges were for criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code.

Now, why did someone not explain to this idiot judge that the video was NOT uploaded by these Google executives?


Now Drummond, Fleischer and Reyes have been convicted.

In other words an Italian court has found that employees of an internet company are criminally responsible for content that users upload.

The court is ignoring existing European law which gives hosting providers a safe harbor from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence.

It’s at this point one wonders if we should just give up on Italy as ever getting the Internet.

Google is appealing the decision, obviously.

Look, Italy needs to get its act together and fast.

I’m calling on Italian entreprenuers, many of whom I know and respect to get involved in this issue.

At a time when European countries are weighed down by regulation and stupid rulings like this one, especially during a period of huge economic upheaval, it is not enough to stand by and watch travesties like this go by.

Do the young people of Italy and the rest of Europe, so many of whom are huge enthusiasts of the Web and the power it gives them to drag themselves up by their bootraps without the need for state help, deserve to have decrepit judges decide their economic future?

I think not.

UPDATE: As commenters note below, the Judge in question is on Facebook, so he presumably knows what user generated content is. In which case why this bizarre judgement?

  • Nicola Cassolato

    This is really sad :(:(:(

    • oihiohioh

      Yea ill explain it.

      Hey judge, youtube is basically a website which commits copyright infringement and doesnt care about the copyrights of others works.


      • oihiohioh

        “Now, why did someone not explain to this idiot judge that the video was NOT uploaded by these Google executives?”

        thanks for proving you know NOTHING about law.

      • Arvind

        The judge doesn’t seem innocent. He needs the Big G to offer some coffers…

        As Einstein said it before, universe & stupidity have no limits.

      • meeka

        Google should not be held responsible for monitoring content but they do have an obligation to do something about it fast if it is pointed out that certain content is inappropriate. If somebody posted some child porn and known to Google, should Google take weeks to take it down or are they obligated to take it down in hours. Google is trying to shirk their responsibility by using the old argument that they are not responsible for the content.


      • Lisa Anne

        Youtube is a gigantic mass of combined forces billions and trillions of animated frames. To ban a video and do it in matter of 6 hours is already incredibly fast..

        Too bad, Mr. Italian Judge didn’t saw that point. I say, fight fight fight.. G execs!

        Anyway, as for youtube’s future, I do hope hacks like this one won’t ever happen again. Details:

    • freddy m.

      Yes indeed . And by the Way. The video romeved

  • Inma Martinez

    Mike, Mike, Mike…. Why are you so surprised? These are the people that vote for Berlusconi, who is the owner of the media and that’s why paying for an internet connection in Italy is about 50€/month. NO WONDER WHY THIS JUDGE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT YOUTUBE IS……… And apologies to all the Italian entrepreneurs but since Berlusconi made it to the cover of Italian Rolling Stone for representing the “Life of a Rock Star” I want to slap in the face every “Guido” I meet…. (apologies again. Italy was the 5th economic power in the 1980s and it pains me to see it like this)

    • Luca

      dear Inma.. you don’t know NOTHING about italian government if you talk like that!

      First of all Internet connection in italy is about 19€/month.. and not 50… maybe is more expensive than US or UK, but it’s not a good for rich people.. everyone have ADSL in italy!!

      Second, i don’t know where are you from.. UK i suppose, i think your REALLY need to focus on YOUR politics and politicians, cause i think that every country have their own problems…

      Third, your comment on italian about the fact that you slap every “Guido” (probably you need to say Mario cause Guido is not a very common name in italy) is offensive… take your apologieze back.. they are not accepted

      To all the other people here.. the post is write.. that judge was very bad.. but i think it’s not going to be a problem cause google’s employee can ask for an audienca at EU court… but this episode is very sad… this is the example that italian law have BIG BIG problem, cause some judge are not able to use it correctly… but not alny in this case… in italy there are several cases of bad-justice :(

      Greetings from Rome

      • Anthony

        You hear that everyone? The post is “write”.

        It scares me that someone can make a half decent argument and then make such a stupid error.

      • Luca

        come one… i write fast and sometimes i made stupid errors.. come on it’s not my native language

        we can speak italian if you prefer :P

      • Luca

        do you see!!
        Come one = come on :P

        I need to read 2 times before submit :P

      • Harry

        it scares me that someone can make a fairly reasoned post for discussion, and all some twonk can do is pick on a spelling mistake. what a tragic internet cliche (you are).

      • Snooki

        All these comments focus on this mythical “right or wrong” side to this judge’s decision. But what is Italian law? In the United States, laws protect ISP’s and content hosts (not 100% but mostly) against content uploaded by its users as long as illegal or “offending” content is taken down in a timely manner. But perhaps Italy doesn’t have this same law and it is the ISP’s responsibility to monitor content BEFORE it’s posted. Perhaps
        Google knew this law but decided to ignore it. And perhaps this Italian judge decided to issue a hefty penalty to teach them a lesson.

      • Anthony

        Italy is part of the EU. Just about all internet law is the same between the EU and US. I HIGHLY doubt that a major part such as distribution would be different between the two places.

      • Eric

        Anthony, you douche. Obviously Luca is Italian, and English is a second language, likely among three or more that most Europeans speak.

      • mario

        Hi, I’m italian and (uè, ciao bella!) I’d like to say that I don’t like all these stereotypes about Italy (what? he said no? Make him an offer he can’t refuse). we are humans like all of you, just a little hairier and noisier. we have phones, we can drive cars and we know what windows 97 is. nobody here knows nothing about this “mafia” even though I like spaghetti and I play mandolino. we have great leaders and judges that tell us what’s wrong and what’s right. Is it something to be ashamed of? you and your youtubething come to Italy to beat our children in our schools. why? we had to put you in prison.

        p.s. if you think it’s a joke, you have to spend a week here talking with the people

      • outside2344

        what is windows 97? is that a special Italian version of Windows?

    • Candido

      You forgot to mention pizza, spaghetti, mandolino and mamma.


  • Robert Doyle

    I hate these “opinion” pieces on TechCrunch. You do not know the full facts and have decided to skew what you have heard into a half baked rant.
    Please god this is not a foretaste of news with traditional jounalism dead.

    • Tim

      Agreed. This worries me more than anything else.

      Old media has a responsibility to be fair and balanced. Without this, it is nothing more than propaganda.

      Blogs deem it fit to plagarise new sites, spin stories as they like and call them “opinion pieces”. In the process, they stir up xenophobic and protectionism attitudes.

      As old media struggles to remain profitable, blogs gain in profitability by using unvetted writers and being unaccountable to all the professional hallmarks of old media.

      So where’s the rational behind the Judge’s opinion, where is the mention of Italian privacy law?

      Describing the anti-competitive behaviour investigation into Google in the EU as “flimsy” – is that balanced? Wouldn’t you prefer an investigation that brought up nothing rather than no investigation at all?

      This is nothing more than propaganda for Google and America and it’s dangerous world it leads us into.

      • JoshK

        Instead of b*tching about it, why don’t you compare the TC article against some “real media” sites to see what they have to say? Here, I did the hard work for you:

        Wall Street Journal:

        BBC News (yes, even a European site!):

        @Robert Doyle: If you think you have “the full facts” then please share them with us. That’s the point of this “new media” where anyone can comment. Occasionally a commenter brings real value to the conversation, and helps elevate us all. Well, good luck next time, anyway.

      • The Real Mr Fish

        Wel, the Wall Street Journal doesn’t appear to call the judge ‘stupid’, or claim that he must not know what youtube is.

        I don’t have the full details of the case, but I have studied a little law, and can only assume that in this case the judge found that under Italian law, the prosecution had a case.

        It sets a precedent, but as Italian law is superseded by European law, further appeals could render this judgement null, or at least that would be my understanding.

      • Nate

        Josh your awesome ! !

    • elia

      This post is indeed better classified as tabloid trash than informed journalism.

      The problem in this case is precisely the thorny legal issue of “what YouTube is”. While this post takes for granted that YT is a mere hosting provider, it is arguable that it has evolved beyond that role into an editor (YT home page features licensed content, recommended content, editorial picks,..). As an editor, YT would be subject to different EU laws and responsibilities, called in cause by the Italian judge.

      • Anthony

        When was the last time a YouTube video that was featured on the homepage caused legal trouble?

        Never I presume.

        Again. It’s a hosting provider. If nothing else at least in the case of this particular issue.

    • Candido

      In fact, we don’t know *why* the judge decided like that.

    • peter

      Yes,exactly. For example, the article says that “Despite the fact that Google removed the video within hours of being notified of its existence…”. Is it really a fact, or the fact is just the Google PR said that? For example, prosecutor said it was more than a month until they took it down, despite the fact that several people complained.

      Now I don’t know which one lies, but a normal journalist should investigate into it, not just publish the most fitting opinion as a fact.

      • Nick

        Well, at least one other source (Evening Standard – states that the video was taken down “hours” after Google was notified by the police, which certainly provides a more factual insight than the opinion piece here.

        As a number of posters had apparently called for it to be taken down in the preceding months (with, I have to say, good cause), I think Google might have behaved more responsibly in addressing these concerns at the time or at least should have a more effective method of allowing people to raise concerns or report inappropriate content and an appropriate response.

        I’m sure most of like to feel we believe in freedom of speech on the Net, but I can’t help but think that if the subject of the video was our child, we’d think differently.

  • Bob Peterson

    Cool. I think that is great. Once the content appears on your site, you are responsible for it. Hence why Youtube takes down copyrighted videos.

    A kid with down syndrome being bullied and youtube leaving it on the site…means they are liable. Its a moral cause.

    Kudos to Italy!

    • israel Vicars


      So, if I walk up to your house, put up a racist/defammatory/illegal poster and leave…you think should be arrested?

    • israel Vicars

      They didn’t leave it on the site, they took it down within a few hours.

      • peter

        This is what G say. But the prosecutor and other media say that the video was uploaded for about 2 months…read timesonline article or other real media who reported about it.

      • Social Networking Software

        They did however take it down within hours of being NOTIFIED it was there.

  • tehag

    EUropeans don’t want to be Americans. Let the EU be the EU. It’s their web, too.

  • nenslo

    What do you expect of a country & its government that views the internet the same way puritans viewed paganism?

  • Mark Vanderbeeken

    I wonder if judge Magi has written consent from his 47 friends, listed with full names and photos on the judge’s entirely public Facebook page:

    • huv123

      Haha He does not have privacy on his wall :) lol

  • Steve Jobs

    Anyone got a link to the video? I want to convert it to mp4 for my ipad.

    • isotonic

      youtube runs fine on the iPhone/iPad, troll.

      • Tim Cook

        i thought it was removed from youtube.

        P.S. you claim you have an ipad? we are now tracing in cooperation with interpol. We WILL find you and we will SMACK you down

      • isotonic

        Youtube on the iPhone is an ap. The iPad runs all iPhone aps.

  • Can Someone Please Tell This Italian Judge What YouTube Is? |™

    […] Read the rest of this entry » Liked this page: […]

  • isotonic

    My site runs on user-generated content but I wouldn’t dream of publishing it without review. If Google wants to monetize other peoples’ content they should probably take a look at it first.

    • some guy

      Your site is not visited by millions of people per day. It would be impossible for Google to monitor all content directly.

      Google apparently removed the content after complaints. What else can it be expected to do?

      Why doesn’t Italy go after the people who wrote the programming for the websites too? Or the company that made the phone used to record it? Or the network that transmitted the data to Google’s server? Aren’t all these groups responsible for the video and privacy violations?

      The bottom line is that Google is not responsible for the videos that people are posting to its video services. There is no way to make that claim.

      • isotonic

        They are responsible for whatever they directly profit from. The scale of their operation is irrelevant. “Too big” is no defence. Google publishes the videos, Google profits from them, Google is responsible for them.

      • will

        bollocks, you may as well say royal mail is responsible for hate mail.

      • isotonic

        If the Royal Mail published the hate mail and ran ads next to it, then yes they would be responsible for it.

        Don’t confuse this issue with safe harbour.

      • Acaeris

        EU Law provides ‘safe harbour’ for content hosting sites such as YouTube. Google are not required to check authorised all uploaded content. As has been pointed out, if this was the case then every website that provides users with the ability to create or upload content would either have to hire content reviewers or stop allowing users that ability.

        In the case of YouTube, 20 hours of video is uploaded every minute from all over the world. To watch that amount of video alone would require YouTube to hire 3600 people all day, every day (holidays included) and that’s without considering the time it would take to check against relevant laws for the entire world.

        I’m sure you must check everything that is submitted to your own website against every single countries laws in case it breaks them. *nods*

      • Simte

        Google executive are condemned because the company took to long to put the video off-line.
        So the Judge consider them responsible not for the video posting but for not take out the video.

        Google is considered to act on “safe harbor” in late, so their executive (as company executive) are legal responsible.

        Maybe the Judge knows very well what is You Tube and how it is supposed to work by law.

      • Snooki

        You’re making an argument completely void of any analysis or understanding of Italian law. Perhaps Italian law explicitly claims that YouTube is responsible for monitoring content before it’s uploaded. There seem to be many experts on Italian law here on TechCrunch so perhaps someone can answer that question.

  • marc

    “Sometimes I despair of Europe, even though I’m proud of what can be achieved here. But really, guys, can we get it together?”

    Mike – seriously. Without european technology and human capital the States would still consist of Cowboys and Farmers (like they still do in this little area between California and New York).

    US patent and customer protection legislation is a mere JOKE compared to Europe. It’s always funny (from a european point of view) that US people so strongly believe in their freedom, while they are in reallity just slaves of “corporate america”. In Europe one man is able to slap a monolithic corporation in the face – via the European Court of Justice. In the US the argument is always “XYZ corp developed it, they have every right to limit your rights – even you bought the product”.

    Google has every right to appeal against this decision (and get it reversed – i am also no fan of “criminal proceedings in absence” like they are possible in Italy), but your article (at least sounds as) you are absolutely over-generalizing things. No area in the world has such sophisticated “weapons” for the ordinary people (against governments and corporations) as Europe.

    (one recent example: the european parliament voting down the SWIFT agreement)

    • some guy

      Yes, Europe is the bastion of freedom from “corporate slavery” and is where the world gets its technological advances and Americans are all backwards and ignorant.

      You are so learned and intelligent with all your amazing generalizations.

      European protections against supposed “moral” “abuses” are the reason that Europe has been a technological leader during the past 50 years and not Asia and America. Oh wait…

      • anders

        Seriously.. you people are all debating that this is an italian decision. Or that it’s a european decision. This is one judge making a terrible decision, thats it!

        There are judges in the US, UK even Tawian that all make terrible decision’s. Lets not generalize countries or continents after this.

        or lets just continue the country bashing, its way more fun
        americans are fat… europeans are stuck up… french are cowards.. Chinese are small.. and ausies are drunk

      • henry


        You are right. How can a case define a whole legal system, a whole country and a continent. Come on people, lets calm down and think like adults.

        If the case is as straight forward as presented by TC, then I’m very confident the EU or the Italian legal system will fix the decision.

      • Wendell Dryden

        Aussies are drunk?

        I learn so much on TC.


      • boden

        Hey now, I resemble that comment… I’m fat, stuck up, small, cowardly and drunk.

    • Andrew

      Substitute “European socialist government” for “corporate america” and tell me how that is better? Oh wait, you can’t do anything to stop them! Look at what’s going on in Greece.

      “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” -Margaret Thatcher

  • Matteo Pirelli

    Well I’m an italian freelance webdesigner, and I feel ASHAMED, if not EMBARASSED, of being Italian, specially when we’re talking about Internet and technology in general.

    The new generations (I’m just 24, but the difference of culture, knowledge and so on is really big against people born just 4 years after me.) really are tech-ignorant, spending their whole time on Facebook, netlog, badoo and other crappy sites like those (I’m not saying FB is crap, the way italian kids use it IS), not knowing basic computer task about anything, primarly Security.

    And the politicans are even worse: old, stupid and tech-ignorant too.

    This news is disgusting, proving another time that law in Italy is led by personal interests of that piece of shit called Silvio Berlusconi.

    I am totally with Mike Butcher for this one, but I’d like to tell something, mainly at Inma Martinez:

    don’t be stereotypical, a 20MB internet access here in Italy is barely 20€/monthly, not 50€ as you claim. There are a lot of professionals working everyday with internet, social networks, new media and such, but we’re few, the digital divide is still high, and personally I prefer it being like this.
    I don’t like having douche also on the internet since I’m dealing with them everyday in real life.

    And no, people voting for Berlusconi are far less than you could think, but magically, he always win the elections.

    Sorry for my poor english

    • boden

      good comment

      Don’t worry about your English It’s better than most native English speakers.

  • Gabbin C. Freemont

    My family left Italy for the US about 100 years ago along with thousands of others- I think only the idiots remained in Italy. I’m glad my folks left when they did-Italy is turning into a backwards, third-world country.

    • Luca

      I think Italy is better without people that thinks like you…

      • Matteo Pirelli

        Indeed, but the main point remains: Italy is becoming a crappy place to live…

      • Luca

        I’m not so critical about Italy… we have problems, of course we have. But this case of stupid-judge cannot be THE example of italian country… it’s not like that..
        It’s not true that italian people are not good with thecnology/internet… yes we are not US, but people use internet, everyone have an email, we use skype, we do everything like the other country! Yes maybe when you looking for a job you don’t use LinkeIN but you send stupid paper-based curriculum… we have too much bourocracy, but we are not bad in use of technology imho.

        Living in Italy is not so bad.. other country have other problems… sometimes wrost than ours… look at US, what’s happen there on financial market is 100times worst of what happen to us… but i’m not here to say bad about US.

        I think every country need to take a look INSIDE and not OUTSIDE the border: Italy is not the best place on earth, but is not bad like i read in european newspaper..

    • Rankhar

      That is crazy. Then again, the Italian legal system is very corrupt. And @tehag who said “EUropeans don’t want to be Americans. Let the EU be the EU. It’s their web, too.” Italy might be a part of the EU, but that’s about where the similarity between the other countries in the EU ends.

      Also @mike butcher: you start the article with “Sometimes I despair of Europe, even though I’m proud of what can be achieved here. But really, guys, can we get it together?” I’m from The Netherlands, and just wanted to point out that the EU is not a unity in the way you portray it; every country has its own laws, its own policies etc. We also share a lot of policies on the EU-level, but there are vast differences between each nation. What a county such as Italy does is not representative of ‘Europe’. All us EU-countries are linked because of the monetary union, and yes, there is a European court. If you would appeal this case in front of a EU court (or a Dutch, British, Swedish, Finnish, German, etc. court), it would be laughed out of court. Italy and Greece and several other countries are just still very much different, much more corruption, strange court decisions, etc. Over time, that will probably change; at the moment though, the EU is just starting the process of ushering these countries into a more ‘developed’ system. In some cases, that could take decades.

      • Rankhar

        Sorry, my reply was not meant in response to the above comments from Luca, Matteo and Gabin, pressed the wrong reply button, my reply was in general.

    • anders

      thats the spirit!! give up on your country!!
      america is also going down the drain.. might be time to move again?!?!

    • hobsons

      What a stupid thing to say.

    • cris

      Hello everyone, I’m one of the idiots who remained in Italy. Not a bad place I should say, good food and nice people, pizza tarantella etc…all in all I believe there are worse places than this in the world.

      Anyway I try to make this a better place everyday with small actions rather than going elsewhere, this is the place I was born at and the place I love.

      Unfortunately we are governed by people with evident conflict of interest and who control the information, everyday they are making free and independent information harder and harder but thank God we have the internet nowadays.

      Another fascist regime is not possible today because the information through internet cannot be stopped, they are trying to filter everything that falls outside their control (namely TV and traditional press) but are having hard time with social networks and UGC sites.

  • Mull

    “Sometimes I despair of Europe, even though I’m proud of what can be achieved here. But really, guys, can we get it together?”

    Italy != Europe.

    • will

      that is the eu project is it not?

    • faust

      Yes its ture .

      italy is not europe

  • Jan

    Can someone tell this Mike Butcher what Ridiculous is?

    Ridiculous is to sue Starbucks for millions of dollars because the coffee is to hot. Or to sue Mc Donald’s for millions of dollars because you are too fat. Or to sue Pfizer because you don´t get a boner even though you dropping some viagra.

    • Mike Butcher

      I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

  • SHuelin

    Glad that I’m still living in Canada.

    • Matteo Pirelli

      I envy you, no sarcasm meant

  • Scott

    Was it YouTube or Google Video? Better check.

  • Filippo

    Well, bitter words aside (telling names to Italian residents is not the best proof of first-worldly modernity), it is true that in Italy the political institutions see the Web mostly as a threat.

    Most of them politics do not understand a thing about Internet, and those who do are only worried about a communication medium that is not as controllable as TV and newspapers are.
    Needless to say, this specific government, led by a media tycoon (to say nothing about his – behaviour), is EXTREMELY keen to put Internet under control, or scare those who could use it to propose alternative views of the society.

    In this context, you will always be likely to find a judge who adheres to this narrow-sighted, biased vision of the Web. In the end this can only reduce even more our (as Italians) freedom of information and speech.

  • Simte

    @Mike you are right, clearly judges and legislation has to be kept updated with the technology pace.
    And yes, here in Italy probably we have more trouble on this than in other countries.

    But what happen in Italy is not an attach to the web is just legal dispute about how much Google is (re)acting to comply with privacy legislation. Unless we think Google = Web (I hope not!), is only a matter of a multinational that feels uncomfortable with the local legislation.
    Nothing new under the sun, just the Google reaction is strange, since a “not an evil company” should avoid to over-react and distorce the fact in doing PR.

    Google is a big big company, there is no reason they need our support in order to defend their rights. They will appeal on this, this is enough.

    Google has also problem on offshoring tax payments, if condemned on this will they call it a web attach also ?

    I agree with Robert, if you want to make your point of view, first collect the fact (not only the blog post fo Google).

    @Inma On what your opinion on Italians are based on? Rolling Stone Magazine? :-)

  • simmons

    i’m italian….and not surprised.
    what do you expect from people who don’t know anything about internet?… we live in a third world country that produces brilliant minds… and the gap between them is so great that we can only resign and try to win personal battles in the field of culture and the Internet world.
    The songwriter Gaber would say: “I do not feel Italian, but fortunately and unfortunately I am.”

  • Se uno non capisce uno YouTube — Livia Iacolare

    […] bella figura di merda made in […]

  • Ivan

    I think we must clearify some points.

    In this case Goverment is outside of the Court.

    Goverment, after several cases is trying to set up a round table where discussing with most important players (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Netlog, etc) a procedure on how remove illegal content before taking legal actions…. (maybe results will be not be good but I think is a step forward…).

    Being back to the fact. Youtube and Google makes money on video through advertising and for that reason they were accused.
    I totally agree that Google is not responsible for content uploaded and I think is up to the users making those things not to happen….
    But everything is perceived as Politics in Italy.. and is not like this. I would say this fact will be probably used as a Flag for politicians (pros and against)…

    Google took the video down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. They also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it. And I think Google involvement should end at this point…
    Otherwise if I use a mobile phone to insult a friend of mine, we have to accuse Vodafone because it offers me the service….
    Finally I agree on what Matt Sucherman post on the Google Blog: “It attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built. Common sense dictates that only the person who films and uploads a video to a hosting platform could take the steps necessary to protect the privacy and obtain the consent of the people they are filming. 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. 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.”

    • Candido

      Problem is that Google refuses to apply the italian privacy law.

      When I say “refuses” I mean they told that to the italian judge (in a paper filed, a “parere pro veritate” in italian).

      So, can an italian company operate in the U.S. and without following americans laws? Can a U.K. company do that?

  • Jeffery Parks

    Government officials are out of control, in the US and outside. I hardly see the US as a ‘free’ country any more.

    Our freedoms are being taken away one by one and we’re not standing up to prevent it. I’m the most guilty of all.

    Obama has taken first steps at making the Whitehouse more transparent. We need more transparency at the Supreme Court level and state and local levels as well. With today’s technology, you shouldn’t have to read about the next law enacted in the newspapers. Anything that could become law in your state and community should easily accessible (pushed) and easily responded to.

    We have the technology, it just needs to be done.

  • Al Brown

    apparently if someone posted photos on a wall, the building owner is somehow responsible even if they took them down immediately

  • david audrain


    The first paragraph of your post is useless, it’s your own opinion, it’s over generalizing. Imagine I complain about California and generalize to the whole north america, well I would be over generalizing and certainly being wrong.

    I don’t see any “plus” in such opinion except generating useless comments, pushing people burning time fighting each other : My country is better and yours is very bad…

    Readers (and Mike) are strongly invited to search internet about how italian justice works, what are the (EU) options for these ex-google guys.

    • will

      its a blog, surely the point is the authors opinion?

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