Draft: December 1st 2011
October 30th 2011. The blog statistics show 7 or 8 visits a day from Google at Mountain View and other Google sites. This is creepy! If Google have a problem with this blog they should talk to the lawyer representing them! After all, they cannot send me further into Cyberia. Bing and Yahoo popped in once or twice but the blog is still indexed at the top of their SERPs. Unlike Google, they did remove most of the defamatory links upon recent notification and we are sorting out removal of the rest.
It will be well into 2012 before we go to trial and Google are clearly not going to remove the defamatory urls and snippets unless ordered by a court. Without a legal decision it it just my word against that of Google. The online publication of false and defamatory material is cyberbullying/harassment on the largest scale possible. The impact of this defamation has been profound and at times the concept of checking out of the world has seemed very attractive. This is consistent with research on the heath effects of severe and sustained harassment.
Update November 20th 2011.
Something really weird is happening with the Google SERPs (see this blog post). Maybe this is just another way to ‘cook the books’, so to speak….just saying….Google are publishing my PhD and Honours thesis in Google Books. Moreover, Google have put an advertisement for their profit driven ebookstore on the webpages. I have no idea how that impacts upon the copyright.
Update 21st November 2011
An article by Verity Edwards was published in ‘The Australian’ today. By the time I arrived home from my lawyers’ office it had already been picked up by local and international media. My website traffic is spiking off the page.
I did everything possible to resolve this for over two and a half years! Moreover, Australian individuals and businesses allegedly defamed on this website site and those that copy this ‘business model’ also made numerous attempts to find a way to deal with this insidious problem.
The bottom line is that both the website owners and Google earn advertising revenue from the defamatory and allegedly defamatory pages. It is not difficult to cut people a break and remove this garbage! Given that is takes a few keystrokes to remove material from both a website and Google this whole situation is not only counter-productive, it is cruel!!
Update November 26th 2011
It is heartening to note that major Australian companies took a stand and withdrew their advertising after Kyle Sandilands’ disgusting comment about a journalist. Hopefully these advertisers will feel equally disgusted about the fact that Google make money from destroying the reputations of Australian businesses and individuals.
I have bought another domain - googleblog.co for the purpose of loading information about Google. The irony was just too difficult to resist! Maybe the companies that advertise on the defamatory webpages (through the Google AdSense product) will contribute to a defence fund for all of the Australians who have had lost jobs and business due to these grubby little websites.
For example, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) advertises with Google AdSense and these ads are placed on the webpages containing material that has caused the loss of revenue from Australian small businesses. The AdSense revenue is shared between Google and the webmasters. Google profits from this product total more than $9.3 billion per year. Google have a ‘creative’ global financial set up (termed an Irish Sandwhich). Under this ‘arrangement Google Australia manages to operate at a loss despite clocking up $700 million in advertising revenue. Maybe the ATO will donate given that not only are they losing revenue from Google, the impact of these websites on business revenue translates into lost tax dollars. Despite efforts from some small businesses nothing has been done about this in Australia ! Maybe the advertisers will care. I guess I will find out.
Update December 22nd 2011.
The court heard argument last week on two applications. In a nutshell Google asked for the claim to be struck out and we asked the court to order them to file a defence. We won on all but one minor point and Google have to file a defence by the end of February 2012. They will probably appeal but I am not worried.
Update March 30th 2012.
Google did not appeal the court order to submit a defence. We finally managed to get it from them (and only 2.5 weeks late). We have requested further particulars by April 13th and then we will file a reply and a Notice to Admit.
Update June 25th 2012
Google ‘substantially’ lost agian because I was awarded 95% of my costs agts them from June 2011. This is a big chunk of change and means I get their costs plus what I have paid my lawyers. The Master ( Master Blumberg) is actually really a good judge. He ‘gets’ the internet and followed the law and court rules closely.
The Master has set down a conciliation coference for August 10th 2012. This is a legal requirement. I am expecting that Google will not be willing to settle which is a pity because from my naive perspective they cannot win this case.
My statistics show this page on Ripoff Report is very popular. It appears that a lot of people are destroyed by defamatory search results. Many have contacted me and several people have been successful in getting Google to remove the defamatory materiel. It depends on the national laws. The page on Ripoff Report is also viewed often and interestingly viewers spend a lot of time on that page. I wish I could provide the news that Ripoff report has tanked in the SERPs but that has not happened-yet. I can say that they are insanely trying to create more links. For example, there are now 112links to the 6 ‘reports’ about me. It appears that this is an attempt to keep the reports in a high position in the SERPs.