Defamation and injunctions lawyers
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Can I obtain an injunction against Google?
The first UK Google injunction was obtained in 2011 by Yair Cohen. The order required Google to reveal personal details of individuals who were defaming a UK business on the internet.
The claimant, who was seeking the injunction against Google was a news publishing group, Wyvern Media, which at the time was servicing tens of thousands of customers each year. Despite Wyvern's genuine attempt to satisfy them all, a small number of customers remained disgruntled.
One disgruntled customer of Wyvern's tried without success to recoup money he had paid for services he received from the company. When that didn't work, the customer decided to extract pressure on the company by creating several blogs that engaged in heavy defamation against Wyvern.
To hide his real identity, the customer created the blogs under a false name, then passed the job of posting the defamatory posts to a friend.
When he was initially approached by Wyvern's solicitor Yair Cohen, this customer denied that he was the owner of the defamatory blogs.
But under further questioning, the customer let slip that although technically he did not own the defamatory blogs, he was somehow able to influence their content.
When the High Court order was served, Google was told to disclose the blog owner’s user name, email address, and IP address to Yair Cohen and his colleagues, who were fighting to have the defamatory content against their client removed from the American-based blog.
Google was also required to supply information about the Gmail account associated with the creator of the blog, as well as other data that could help identify the anonymous user.
In light of the High Court order and in face of other evidence gathered, Google decided of its own accord to shut down the defamatory blogs.
This prevented the need for further court proceedings, because the goal was achieved. Subsequent similar cases ended in a similar manner: The defamatory blogs were shut down - but only after Google was served with a High Court order.
In each case, no subsequent court hearings were required.
The outcome of the first case set an important and news-making precedent and paved the way for future similar claims. Still, it remains expensive to remove defamatory blogs and unfair derogatory comments from Google's websites.
Worse, many of the businesses who are in most need for such orders are already strapped for cash as a direct consequence of the defamation spread against them.
If you or your business are a victim of defamation, and you are considering taking out an injunction against Google, make sure you speak to us first. You have absolutely nothing to lose.