Germany: meta search engine responsible for hyperlinks

By EDRi · April 6, 2005

A Berlin court has ruled on 22 February 2005 that a meta search engine has
exactly the same legal responsibilities as a regular search engine to
prevent users from accessing illegal content. A meta search engine doesn’t
have any databases of itself that could contain possibly illegal content,
but should be able to filter the results from other search engines anyhow,
according to the Berlin ruling.

The case results from a complaint by a female television host, who tried
to prevent the search engine from producing links to possible nude
pictures of her. In fact, the links refer to erotic sites that falsely use
the names of many media-personalities in combination with the word
‘naked’. The search engine declined it was possible to prevent these
results from appearing.

The ruling didn’t enter into effect immediately. The operator of the meta
search engine has appealed and must prove he’s unable to block specific
results from other search engines and prove it is technically impossible
to create adequate blocking.

Summary and full verdict Landgericht Berlin (22.02.2005)

Meta search engine