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Patricia O'Connell
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David Weslow Discusses Potential Impact of French Court’s Ruling on Online Service Providers

November 25, 2013

David E. Weslow, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Intellectual Property Practice, was quoted by TechRepublic in a November 19 article about the potential implications for website operators from a recent French court ruling.

On November 6, a French court ordered Google to remove scandalous photos of former Formula One racing chief Max Mosley.  Google has said it will appeal the ruling and has already attempted to remove the images linked to a 2008 British newspaper report.  If upheld on appeal, the case could have far-reaching implications for website and online service providers worldwide, Mr. Weslow said.

The case has “garnered a good deal of international interest given the possibility that imposing such a pre-publication ban on Google’s indexing of the photographs could be viewed as imposing one country’s privacy laws on the entirety of the Internet,” Mr. Weslow told TechRepublic.  “If the court decision is upheld on appeal, there may be a precedent in France for forcing search engines or other types of Internet service providers to take affirmation actions to disable certain online content even where a 'take down' request has not been filed with an Internet service provider.”