Google to Pay Damages in France for Sex-Offender Search Terms

Google Inc. was ordered by a French court to pay 5,000 euros ($6,750) in damages to a convicted sex offender because its search engine suggested keywords including “rapist” when his name was entered.

The ruling by the Paris high court on Sept. 8 is carried in full by website Legalis.net, an aggregator of French legal decisions. It was reported earlier today by Le Monde, which said the unidentified plaintiff was separately appealing a conviction for “corruption of a minor.”

In the ruling published online, the court found that some search terms proposed by the “Google Suggest” and “Associated Search” tools in response to the plaintiff’s name were defamatory.

It ordered Google to block the suggested search terms and pay the plaintiff damages as well as full costs.

Myriam Boubil, a spokeswoman in France for Mountain View, California-based Google, said she couldn’t immediately comment when contacted today by Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laurence Frost in Paris at lfrost4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root in Paris at vroot@bloomberg.net

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