Will precedent be set in Italian lawsuit against Google’s YouTube?


As reported by Reuters this morning, and by the Italian news agency Ansa more detailedly this afternoon, the offices of Google Italy have been raided today by the Guardia di Finanza police force, and its American legal representatives have been notified of accusations against them of defamation, and omitted control of the content of a video uploaded on YouTube. (I am purposefully not trying to link to the video itself The affair started a few days ago, when a rather nasty video of the harassment of a kid with Down syndrome by his classmates has been picked up. The school, and the class have been quickly identified, and the four kids beating up the fifth have been suspended, and are avaiting more specific punishments, probably community service. Now two Milan magistrates have acted against Google, based on the indications by Vividown, an association supporting people with Down syndrome, which sees in the episode a responsibility by Google itself.

The Italian blogosphere is quite abuzz about the incident. It will be significant to see if these accusations will be upheld, and how they will influence the Italian, European, and worldwide policies of YouTube, and Google.