First Instance Court of Paris December 4, 2009
Paris Court of Appeal, December 9, 2009
The First Instance Court of Paris upheld on December 4, 2009 that the suggestion “CNFDI arnaque” (i.e. “CNFDI rip-off”) displayed while searching for the plaintiff’s name on Google was an affront under provisions of the law of July 29, 1881, concerning the press freedom.
In a second matter, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed on December 9, 2009, the findings of the First Instance Court as to Google’s liability as to the suggestion ““direct energie arnaque” (i.e. “direct energie rip-off”). The Court of Appeal however infirmed the previous decision as to the measure ordered. Google was requested to mention on its home page a general information enabling internet users to understand how is made up the list of suggestions. The Court of First Instance had previously ordered instead that Google deletes the expression “direct energie arnaque” from the list of suggestions.
These decisions concur in finding Google’s liability. The very first decisions issued during the first half of 2009 had actually handled the responsibility of Google in opposite directions. There is consequently at the moment less disparity than these very first judgments. The French case law is however still to be built up to be fully confirmed and new decisions are expected to come.