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back to article Italian prosecutors seek jail time for Google execs

Italian prosecutors are pushing for Google execs to be jailed in a case over an internet video that showed the bullying of a teenager with Down's Syndrome. In September 2006, someone posted a three-minute mobile phone video to Google's Italian website in which four Turin teenagers make fun of a classmate with Down's Syndrome. …

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Stop

"the end of Web 2.0 in Italy."

If only that could be extended to the rest of the world...

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Boffin

Italian Court System Corruption

This case is a perfect example of why no one considers the Italian court system capable of dealing out justice. The Italian legal system is inordinately complicated and most lawyers ( avvocato) and judges ( giudici) are baffled by the conflicts between different laws, many dating back centuries, and EU directives serve to complicate matters further. There are literally thousands of laws, most of which are ignored, and newcomers must learn where to draw the line between laws that are enforced and those that aren’t or are only weakly enforced. It sometimes appears that there’s one law for foreigners and another for Italians, and fines ( multe) are commonplace. The Italian legal system is inordinately complicated and most lawyers ( avvocato) and judges ( giudici) are baffled by the conflicts between different laws, many dating back centuries, and EU directives serve to complicate matters further. There are literally thousands of laws, most of which are ignored, and newcomers must learn where to draw the line between laws that are enforced and those that aren’t or are only weakly enforced. It sometimes appears that there’s one law for foreigners and another for Italians, and fines ( multe) are commonplace. This is clearly a publicity play by the Italian prosecutors.

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This is a bollocks

Lawsuit, if it hadn't been on youtube then the offenders likely wouldn't have been caught.

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the end or the improvement of web 2.0?

Hey Google, what about applying moderation when things are posted by new, "unreliable" users? Not feasible because it doesn't fit with your business model? Well it's your problem not a problem of free speech. The truth is that YouTube is full of copyrighted and illegal material and you are fully aware of this but you hide yourself behind the lame excuse that someone must let you know.

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FAIL

Simple really...

Berlusconi doesn't own the internet so of course he wants Web 2.0 in Italy to fail. Do you think this would be happening if Google was in his portfolio?

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oh by the way

Takedown can be requested only by YouTube registered users..... WHY????

If I see some illegal I need to become a customer of yours to let you know???

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Anonymous Coward

@ Andy S.

"If I see some illegal I need to become a customer of yours to let you know???"

If you saw something using their service then you're already a customer.

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Welcome

Excellent!

The end of web 2.0? Can we start locking em up over here too?

Web postings are nothing like mail - the content is deliberately in the public domain - not sealed in an envelope and sent through a mail system subject to non-interference legislation . It can be inspected before publication without any hidrance so Google and others should be treated as publishers and made liable for their content. Just because it wouldn't be financially viable to do so is not an argument for not doing it.

I'm all for anything that spells the end of the unmitigated crap that constitutes so much of the public web.

I for one welcome Google's new hairy backed overlords.

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Stop

could spell the end of Web 2.0 in Italy...

... so, no loss there, then!

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Pastafarians

Oddly enough, I find myself siding with Searchzilla on this one. It is just like punishing postal workers for delivering unwanted advertising - which they do, in sealed envelopes, and it's hardly their fault - or like going after a car manufaturer because some criminal used one of their cars in a getaway, which is not the car maker's fault either.

Stop criminalising the bystanders, and focus on the perpatrators.

The law needs to evolve along with society, not hinder its development.

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Flame

Or...

Or like going after Microsoft because some Russian took over your computer?

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Jobs Halo

Now THAT

..sounds like a plan.

Good egg!

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Grenade

Because...

Italy isn't enough of a laughing stock already?

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Wrong target?

So, are the Italians prosecuting the perps at all, or just Google?

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Cost

Google lets people use YouTube for free. If Google employees spent time checking the stuff on YouTube, Google would have to pay them to do it. Where would the money come from?

Unreasonable requirements would result in many useful Internet services becoming priced out of reach.

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Anonymous Coward

Google is doing their work for them

I don't know why they are complaint. I once heard from an Italian that the authorities beamed video from well known redlight areas into the town square in order to embarrass the punters. Google are just doing their work for them.

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WTF?

Even if it were possible...

...for employees to personally view and rate every video uploaded (how many thousands or tens of thousands per day are there?), how in god's name are they supposed to decide what goes and what stays? How do you tell the difference between a video like this, and one that's part of a school project meant to highlight the problems with bullying? Do google employees have to interview the people who uploaded the videos, too? And how do you draw the line? At things that are illegal in Italy? England? Azerbaijan? Turkey? Thailand? Iran?

How, O Genius Andy S., would you suggest *applying* this moderation? I'm guessing the standards you suggest would be remarkably close to what you personally like and dislike, wouldn't they - and those ought to be good enough for the citizens of the rest of the world, too, right?

And when does this stop? What about writing - how about a *description* of someone being bullied? Do anonymous forum posts become illegal, too? What about photos? If a video of bullying is illegal, then surely a photo of bullying on Picasa or Flickr should be, too, right? Or is it the INTENT that counts, and a photo taken to document something is legal but one taken for fun isn't? Now moderators for any web site with user participation (like, say, el Reg's forum, to the har-haring anti-web-2.0 commentards) will have to determine INTENT as well as CONTENT in their censorship?

How, and to whose standards, could ANY of that POSSIBLY work?

Does anyone who gets all self-righteous and bleats "something must be done" about this actually turn on his brain and put it in drive before typing?

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More integrity required

Intent is important. The latest generation of politicians seems determined to abandon it in lawmaking and go more and more for uninterpreted prohibition. That is a real threat to freedom of expression. Without a judicial interpretation of intent you end up with a bureacratic dictatorship.

The Reg boards are pre-moderated and in doing that the Reg has rejected the web 2.0 UGC route in favour of remaining within publishers principles and taking responsibility for what they push out to the world.

Big companies making millions of dollars by pushing crap on the web should be expected to show a degree of responsibility - the Google excuse of anything goes is not a philosophy supporting freedom of expression - it's simply big money reserving the right to trample on honesty decency and any shred of morality in the cause of chasing the dollar.

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Troll

Plain stupid......

Perhaps the italians should spend more time fighting organized crime syndicates in their country, rather than wasting their time on pointless exercises!

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