"It is not the writing on the wall that constitutes a crime for the owner of the wall, but its commercial exploitation can"
This is the very simplified summary of judge Oscar Magi 111-page long document convicting three Google employees for the so-called Vivi down case and it is one of the most striking piece of news I have ever read. Everything began in 2006 when four teenagers were harassing an autistic schoolmate, recording the scene with a mobile phone and eventually uploading the footage on Video Google. The four bullies were sentenced by a juvenile court but this was not enough for Vivi down, an association grouping people affected by the Down syndrome, who blamed the internet giant for having hosted the video. Indeed, the video stayed online for almost two months collecting more than five thousands views, eighty comments (some of them urgently requesting its removal) and a good ranking in the Most Entertaining Video list.
How can Google be considered responsible for that? Four teenager were playing and shooting the scene and a few other thousands were so stupid to watch and enjoy it. But judge Magi's reply is different and simple: Google was aiming to a commercial exploitation of that video as of all the other hosted videos, and so it must be considered responsible for everything that is happening on its web pages: "Internet is not the endless prairie where everything is allowed and nothing can be banned".
Let's make a comparison with a similar situation. A journalist writes an article about the stupidity of blondes. Not the typical funny one, but a serious and aggressive paper accusing women to be inferior to men. The article is published on a newspaper and read all around the world. Of course it is causing a lot of noise and we all agree that the journalist must be punished as well as the newspaper director... But how can you blame the newsagent for distributing the paper with the aim of earning money?