Can Google Be Sued for Deleting Someone's Existence?

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Can Google Be Sued for Deleting Someone's Existence?

Fri Feb 08, 2008 @ 10:42AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Googlelogo Here's an interesting question: If a search engine deletes someone's name from its search results, is that search engine infringing that person's name rights?

It might sound silly, but that's exactly what former Chinese university professor Guo Quan believes. The scholar says he is planning to sue Google after the search giant purged his name after the Chinese expressed opposition to his role as chairman of the underground New People's Party.

In an interview with UK newspaper The Times, Quan said, "They have infringed my right to my name, and also the rights of anyone called Guo Quan because you can find no information for this name."

Quan also wrote a pretty colorful open letter that blasted Google's practices. "To make money, Google has become a servile Pekinese dog wagging its tail at the heels of the Chinese communists,” he wrote.


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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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