David Rolph, ‘The Ordinary, Reasonable Search Engine User and the Defamatory Capacity of Search Engine Results in Trkulja v Google Inc

Abstract
The liability of search engine operators for defamation is a contentious issue that has engaged the attention of courts across the world. The principal focus of such cases is ordinarily the issue of whether the search engine is a publisher for the purposes of defamation law. The High Court of Australia will decide its first case involving a search engine operator’s liability for defamation not directed at the issue of publication, but at the issue of defamatory capacity. In determining whether the search results were capable of conveying the pleaded imputations, the High Court will also have to consider whether to approach the question by reference to a new, hypothetical referee for the internet age – ‘the ordinary, reasonable search engine user’.

David Rolph, Before the High Court: The Ordinary, Reasonable Search Engine User and the Defamatory Capacity of Search Engine Results in Trkulja v Google Inc, Sydney Law Review volume 29 (2017).

First posted 2017-11-21 13:20:38

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