Australian court rules man can sue Google for defamation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Australian court rules man can sue Google for defamation

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - An Australian man who alleges Google defamed him on Wednesday won a court battle to sue the search engine giant.

Milorad "Michael" Trkulja was shot in the back in 2004 in a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city.

The Australian High Court unanimously ruled in favor of Trkulja, supporting his allegation that a Google search of his name could indicate to an ordinary person he was "somehow associated with the Melbourne criminal underworld."

Trkulja had successfully argued in the Victoria state Supreme Court in 2012 that Google defamed him by publishing photos of him linked to hardened criminals of Melbourne's underworld.

Four years later, the Victorian Court of Appeal overturned the decision, finding the case had no prospect of successfully proving defamation. The High Court disputed that ruling and ordered Google to pay Trkulja's legal costs.

Google searches for "Melbourne criminal underworld photos" bring up images of Trkulja alongside gangland figures, his lawyer Guy Reynolds told the High Court in March.

However, Google's lawyers argued it would be "irrational" for someone to assume photos in a Google image search for underworld figures are all of criminals, because the same search would also bring up the Google logo, movie posters, images of crime victims and photos of actor Marlon Brando.

Trkulja is also claiming defamation around Google's "autocomplete" options for his name, which have included phrases like "is a former hit man," ''criminal" and "underworld."

However, the court heard autocomplete is an automatic function and that previous searches influence future suggestions.

The defamation suit is expected to go back to the Victoria Supreme Court for trial.

Trkulja said he would continue the legal action until he gets the result he wants, fearful someone will see the images and tell his grandchildren he's a hardened criminal.

"I will sue Google ... and I will sue them till they stop. I want them to block my pictures," he said. "I'm not a criminal, I've never been involved and I will make sure these people are not going to ruin my family - I have grandchildren," he added.

Google said in a statement: "We will continue to defend the claim. We decline to comment further on ongoing legal matters."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Science & technology newsMore>>

  • Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

    Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

    Thursday, June 21 2018 2:51 AM EDT2018-06-21 06:51:50 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 9:37 AM EDT2018-06-24 13:37:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, a college student plays a computer game at an Internet cafe in Seoul, South Korea. On Monday, 18, 2018, the World Health Organization said that compulsively playing video ga...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, a college student plays a computer game at an Internet cafe in Seoul, South Korea. On Monday, 18, 2018, the World Health Organization said that compulsively playing video ga...
    Video game "addiction" decision renews debate over whether behaviors can cause same kind of illness as drugs.More >>
    Video game "addiction" decision renews debate over whether behaviors can cause same kind of illness as drugs.More >>
  • EU lawmakers miffed over new Facebook snub

    EU lawmakers miffed over new Facebook snub

    Friday, June 22 2018 7:42 AM EDT2018-06-22 11:42:26 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:13:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Some business leaders including Zuckerberg are condemning the Trump administration's decision ...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Some business leaders including Zuckerberg are condemning the Trump administration's decision ...
    EU lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.More >>
    EU lawmakers are unhappy that Facebook is refusing to comply with their request to send two senior officials to testify about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.More >>
  • Instagram unveils new video service in challenge to YouTube

    Instagram unveils new video service in challenge to YouTube

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:12:31 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:03 AM EDT2018-06-23 14:03:26 GMT
    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads. (Source: Instagram/CNN)Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads. (Source: Instagram/CNN)

    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads.

    More >>

    Instagram takes headlong plunge into video with new 'IGTV' service that allows longer clips, setting stage for more ads.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly