[Editor Charlie sez: Now all of the Google shills prattling about “censorship” as an excuse for Google’s promotion and profit from massive piracy may start to make more sense. Read the complaint filed by Google’s go-to law firm Quinn Emanuel.]
If one didn’t know any better, it would be reasonable to assume that Google has lost its mind. See a lawsuit filed Monday by the web giant….
On June 28, Google suffered a humongous legal defeat. There are losses and then there are losses, and this one was a super duper very bad loss for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company. In Canada, the country’s highest court upheld an injunction ordering Google to remove certain websites ruled to be infringing intellectual property from its search engine. GLOBALLY.
The details of what led to this decision — a small Canadian tech company called Equustek Solutions suing a onetime distributor for trademark infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets — are not particularly important. What is significant is that the case dealt with intellectual property and the possibility that Google might have to do more than pay lip service to piracy….
The company has filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Equustek.
“Google brings this action to prevent enforcement in the United States of a Canadian order that prohibits Google from publishing within the United States search result information about the contents of the internet,” states the introduction in the complaint….
A federal judge can now give Google what it requests by issuing a declaration that the injunction is unenforceable as inconsistent with the First Amendment, the Communications Decency Act and international comity, but does it matter? What a U.S. judge can’t do is stop a Canadian court from imposing sanctions on Google for failure to comply with the injunction.
That’s right–Google is going for the Backpage defense of choice against human trafficking–the Communications Decency Act. This is why Google tells people in other countries that they want U.S. law to apply to all their operations. Imagine if Standard Oil got away with that. Or if Google had been charged with material support for terrorists.
Read the post on the Hollywood Reporter.
And watch Eric Schmidt swallow his tongue when confronted about Google’s support for Backpage at a Google “stockholders’ meeting”.
The Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision today ruling that Canadian common law courts have the jurisdiction to make global de-indexing orders against search engines like Google. In so, ordering, the Court in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34 underlined the breadth of courts’ jurisdiction to make orders against search engines to stem illegal activities on the Internet including the sale of products manufactured using trade secrets misappropriated from innovative companies.
The decision arose from a lower court decision that ordered Google to block websites that were selling goods that violated the trade secrets of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs obtained a default order against the defendants. But, the defendants continued to sell the offending goods over the Internet. The plaintiffs, unable to enforce their order, asked for Google’s help in blocking the websites. Google voluntarily de-indexed specific URL’s requested by the plaintiffs, but this “whac-a-mole” process was ineffective. When Google refused to de-index the offending websites from its search results, the plaintiffs brought a motion against Google for interim relief requiring Google to de-index the websites from all of its search engines worldwide.
Over Google’s objections, in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack 2014 BCSC 1063 Madam Justice Fenlon of the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the injunction. Google subsequently applied for leave to appeal the decision to the British Columbia Court of Appeal and for an order staying the enforcement of the order. In Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc., 2014 BCCA 295, the court granted Google leave to appeal the decision but refused Google’s application to stay enforcement of the injunction order. Google’s appeal was later dismissed by the Court of Appeal in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Google Inc., 2015 BCCA 265. For a summary of the prior proceedings, see Barry Sookman, Google ordered by BC court to block websites: Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack.
The Supreme Court of Canada, in a seven to two majority decision written by Justice Abella, affirmed the decisions below.
Google had argued that courts had no jurisdiction to make orders against it as a non-party to the litigation. It argued that any order against it should have been limited to the google.ca search engine. It also contended that the worldwide order would violate the principle of comity and rights of freedom of expression. The Court rejected each of these arguments and found that the balance of convenience favoured granting the order.
Read the post on Barry Sookman’s excellent blog