French court: Google can be forced to censor 'torrent'

View more from Google »

About The Author

CNET Editor

Seamus Byrne is the Editor of CNET Australia. At other times he'll be found messing with apps, watching TV, building LEGO, and rolling dice. Usually at the same time.

The French Supreme Court has ruled that Google can be required to censor terms like "torrent" and "Megaupload" from autocomplete suggestions. Google is taking the case to an appeals court for the final verdict.

Google music search, sans "torrent".
(Screenshot by CBSi)

Autocomplete and instant search results on Google are based on the most popular or typical searches related to the first terms in a search. But there must be an element of self-fulfilling prophecy attached to the offer. How many searchers have been exposed to "torrent", "Megaupload", or "RapidShare" for the first time thanks to autocomplete suggestions?

According to TorrentFreak, the French Supreme Court ruled last week that Google can be required to censor search terms from instant search and autocomplete suggestions. Part of the French music industry's action raised the issue that a Google search for a popular artist's name would often receive suggestions of piracy-related keywords. Such suggestions, it was argued, mean that Google is facilitating piracy.

It is Google's indirect role in helping people discover such options that's the target of the case, not whether Google is accountable for the infringements.

Google has previously had decisions made in its favour on this matter in two lower courts, with the music industry winning for the first time in the French Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has now sent the case back to the French Court of Appeal for a final decision on the matter.

Add Your Comment 2

Post comment as

BeauW posted a comment   

Torrent has been censored from autosearch on Google for the better part of this year. Old news.


ADSLNerd posted a comment   

What a load of B.S. Google cannot be held accountable for what people search for. Google provide the search without bias for the use of the customer. This is a re-interpretation of Common Law, based on corporate greed. The Music "industry" is full of hob knobs making it rich based on lies of how the origins of Copyright started - its all about distribution channels and $$$$. Hell I would use Tor / VPN to bypass all of this no probe whatsoever. Looks like the French legal system has been corrupted by industry greed as well - nothing new.

Sponsored Links

Recently Viewed Products