Google fights to keep 4 execs out of prison over video clip

By Lucy Bannerman
London Times Online
An Italian court is to decide whether four senior Google executives should face prison, over the broadcast of a video clip showing a boy with Down’s Syndrome being bullied by his classmates.

The long-running trial, which centres around a three-minute clip showing four schoolboys making fun of the teenager and hitting him over the head at their school in Turin, in 2006, is being seen as a test case for the control of content on the internet.

The web giant says the attempts to hold its employees responsible for content posted online is a “direct attack on a free, open Internet”.

The boy’s family has withdrawn the complaint and the four students were suspended from the remainder of their academic year.

However, the Italian court has instead accepted as the plaintiffs both Milan city council and Vivi Down, an association representing the interests of people with Down’s syndrome.

Google removed the clip within 24 hours of being alerted of the upload. Prosecution lawyers argue that the broadcast still amounted to a breach of privacy and was defamatory as the company failed to adequately control content on the site.Full story.


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