Google comes up trumps in High Court appeal

Published On 10/02/2013 | By Peta Stevenson | Consumer protection

On 6 February 2013, the High Court upheld Google’s appeal, finding that it was not responsible for any misleading or deceptive representations contained in advertisements placed by its customers .

In their alert, available here, Anthony McKew and John Swinson note that at a high level, this case raises similar issues to other recent technology cases where the company providing the technology or the intermediary between users seeks to avoid any liability for the content it carries or publishes. An example is the iiNet case, where the High Court decided that an internet service provider is not liable for copyright infringements of its users.

They conclude that the High Court has clearly determined that Google is in a similar position to a television network or newspaper, and is not liable for the content of advertisements placed by its advertising customers, unless it can be proven that Google is more actively involved in the creation of the content. Providing the technology to assist advertisers create advertisements or to display the advertisements was not sufficient to turn Google from an intermediary to an actor.

Read the full alert.

Photo credit: Bytemarks / Foter.com / CC BY

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About The Author

is a partner in the Sydney office of King & Wood Mallesons where she specialises in competition litigation with experience in a wide range of jurisdictions. Peta also advises clients on the application of the anti-competitive conduct, consumer protection and access provisions of the Competition & Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and related state legislation. In 2001/02 she undertook her LLM at the University of Cambridge, during which time she developed a passionate if fleeting interest in rowing.

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