Metropolitan International Schools Ltd v Designtechnica Corp [2009] EWHC 1765 Q.B.

Document type
Court Decision
This case was triggered by the appearance of defamatory comments on an online bulletin board, provided by the website operated by the first defendant. Apart from bringing the case against the said operator, the claimant also decided to sue the Google search engine (as a secondary defendant), due to the fact that the defamatory material could have appeared among the latter’s search results, in the form of a “snippet.” The claimant sought, among others, to obtain an injunction restraining the secondary defendant from “publishing or causing to be published or authorising to be published the same or similar words defamatory of the claimant within the jurisdiction of the court.” This request ended up being dismissed, since it was dependent on finding Google liable as a publisher, and the judge found that - in the factual circumstances at hand - the operator of a search engine could not be subjected to such liability.
Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Lowest Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Search Engine or Index
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Strengthens Immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order