Legal Battle Between Internet Giant Google And Australian Academic Dr. Janice Duffy

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A woman from Adelaide, Dr. Duffy sued internet giant Google for calumny on a material posted on a website in 2007. She has gotten a partial victory on the matter that will continue to another trial at the South Australia Supreme Court.

An Australian academic, Dr. Janice Duffy has won a court ruling in her favor after a Judge found Google guilty of defaming her through its auto-complete, hyperlinks and search engine result.

Credit- GoFundMe Dr. Janice Duffy

Credit- GoFundMe
Dr. Janice Duffy

The former health researcher has been seeking justice on the matter for six years running after she claimed that a material posted in 2007 on the “Ripoff Report” defamed her character.

She claimed it has caused her psychological and financial damage as any would-be future employer would make use of Google search engine to know more about her, and this has left her unemployable.

She also claimed that Google gradually removed the material from their search engine after filing a civil proceeding against the company in 2011.

On their part, Google denied any knowledge of such publications. The internet giant also denied receiving any request from her to pull off the material from the search engine.

When the Judge ruled that defamatory materials concerning her were published by Google, she burst into emotions and wept in court. When she told the court that she needed more time to prepare for the trial as she was exhausted from the proceedings, she also broke down emotionally.

Justice Malcolm Blue, in his 144 – page judgment struck out most of the defenses put up by the counsel to Google. The Judge found out that the hyperlinks and auto-complete results either directed, published or republished a considerable number of internet users towards calumny comments.

The judge also ruled that the case will proceed to further trial to resolve the other issues at the South Australian Supreme Court.

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The judge further stated that it would be necessary to proceed to trial on the other remaining issues that are time limitation and defense of triviality, the quantum of damages and causation, and the application for extension of time.

Dr. Duffy said she had no other choice than to file a complaint in court. She said she was not interested in a legal battle, and all she wanted from the onset was for the material to be taken down. She has remained jobless ever since and was forced to leave her health job in South Australia when her colleagues saw the defamatory material on Ripoff Report.

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