Google’s big win in defamation battle with Melbourne lawyer George Defteros

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The High Court of Australia ruled on Wednesday that Google is not legally responsible for defamatory news stories and other material viewed when users click on its non-sponsored search results.

This news comes after the search engine has been locked in a battle with Melbourne lawyer, George Defteros, since 2016.

According to ABC News, Mr Defteros successfully sued Google in 2020 for $40,000 after it refused to take down a hyperlink to a newspaper article he said was defamatory.

Google has won in its defamation case against George Defteros.

The article in The Age newspaper was about how Mr Defteros was charged in 2004 with conspiracy and incitement to murder underworld figures, including Carl Williams. But those charges were dropped in 2005.

At the time, the Supreme Court of Victoria found the internet giant was a publisher and had defamed Mr Defteros.

But Google took the case to the High Court, arguing that it was only a navigator and not a publisher of content.

The court went to the High Court of Australia.

The High Court ruled by a majority in support of Google’s argument on Wednesday, finding that the internet giant was not the publisher of the material in question.

In a statement published by The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Defteros said that he took the action “as a matter of principle” and believed his “good family name has been preserved, not only in the law, but also within the community at large”.

Mr Defteros added that he felt “totally vindicated” despite the High Court’s verdict.

Source: ABC News and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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