A Federal court in Northern California has ruled against Canadian top court’s ruling in Google vs Equi.
The court observed that if Google complied with Canadian verdict, it would be in violation of free speech.
What’s the case about?
Equustek, a digital company had Datalink solutions as one its licensees. Shortly into the agreement, as alleged by Equustek, Datalink started labelling Equustek’s solutions as its own and selling the product.
Facing a potential lawsuit with Equustek, Datalink didn’t pursue legal recourse but fled the country and started its operations elsewhere.
Equustek asked Google to remove Datalink’s search results links from the web and Google complied by deindexing the site in Google.ca
Equustek moved against Google in British Columbian local court which ruled in Equustek’s favor.
Google challenged the ruling in Canada’s Supreme court. The court upheld the lower court’s verdict.
Google argues that such verdicts jeopardize free speech. A country’s court can rule if certain sites don’t appear in the search results for that country. But it’s not the same when applying the verdict to all countries over all the world.
Courts and governments are increasingly passing orders asking the removal of user generated content. This mostly pertains to hate-speech or remarks against rulers.
Social media companies in Germany have to remove hate speech content within 24 hours or face fines to the tune of $500 million.
European Union’s courts are deciding whether ‘right to be forgotten’ should be extended beyond borders.
The internet shouldn’t be controlled by courts or governments in one or the other nation.