The aim of the article is to reflect on Google’s social responsibility by analyzing a milestone court decision, Vivi Down Association v. Google, that took place in Italy, involving the posting of an offensive video clip on Google Video. It was a landmark decision because it refuted the assertion that the Internet knows no boundaries, that the Internet transcends national laws due to its international nature, and that Internet intermediaries, such as Google, are above the law. This case shows that when the legal authorities of a given country decide to assert their jurisdiction, Internet companies need to abide by national laws if and when they wish to operate in that country.
Section II discusses the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which formulates ethical guidelines for companies, arguing that the principles of social responsibility area model for responsible and professional business. Section III presents the concepts of the dignity of the person and privacy in Italian law. Section IV explains the law of defamation. Section V explains the court cases that were brought against Google in Italy, while Section VI discusses and analyses the court judgments in light of pertinent considerations, including CSR, the dignity of the person, privacy, and defamation.
Cohen-Almagor, R., & Stamile, N. (2021). Freedom of Expression v. Social Responsibility on the Internet: Vivi Down Association v. Google. Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law, 11(2), 350-389