Google Inc. was ordered by a Paris court to filter nine images linked to Max Mosley in a lawsuit seeking to block search results referring to a “Nazi-themed” sex party and the former Formula One president.
Mosley, 73, was awarded 1 euro ($1.35) in damages by the court in a dispute that goes back to a 2008 story in a U.K. tabloid newspaper. Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it will appeal.
“This is a troubling ruling with serious consequences for free expression,” Daphne Keller, associate general counsel at Google, said in an e-mailed statement. “The French court has instructed us to build what we believe amounts to a censorship machine.”
Mosley won a 60,000-pound ($96,480) breach-of-privacy award in a U.K. court in 2008 from News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper for publishing the story on a Nazi-themed “orgy” along with a video. A judge ruled there was no Nazi theme and the story wasn’t in the public interest. Mosley won a similar ruling in France in 2011 when a judge ordered News Corp. to pay as much as 32,000 euros in fines and fees over the story.
“The action was brought in respect of a small number of specific images ruled illegal in the English and French courts several years ago,” Mosley said in an e-mailed statement. “Despite their illegality and my repeated notifications to them, Google continued to make the images available on its own web pages.”
Mosley said “further action is ongoing” in other countries, including Germany.
Mosley in 2011 told a U.K. inquiry investigating the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp. that he filed suits against Google in Germany and France over the search results.