The Google Three

This morning”s Observer column about the Italian convictions handed out to three Googlers.

In the case of the Google Three, however, it’s likely that they will be vindicated because even if the Italian appeal fails, there is always the possibility of recourse to the European Court in Strasbourg, which will take the view that European Union law, as currently drafted, appears to give hosting providers a safe harbour from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence. The downside of this, of course, is that Google will have to be much more responsive to complaints, which will make it much easier to have videos taken down because the prudent course will always be to “take down first and ask questions later”.

The glory days of YouTube may be coming to an end. And Silvio Berlusconi remains at large.