After losing a battle over search results in Canadian court, Google has now turned to the American court. In late June, Google was ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada to remove certain search results not only in Canada but worldwide. Google has now filed suit in American courts, saying that enforcement in America would be a violation of the First Amendment as well as the Communications Decency Act.
The Canadian case involved a company Equeestek Solutions, Inc suing their distributor, Datalink Technologies, alleging they had illegally copied their product. Equeestek Solutions won the case in court, but Google was brought into the case when the judge ordered search results be removed worldwide. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which sided with Equustek.
Google has now filed suit in the US District Court for Northern California, seeking an injunction against enforcement. Google asked the court to “declare that the rights established by the First Amendment and the Communications Decency Act are not merely theoretical.” The complaint relies on the US Consitution’s First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, and the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity to website providers against the actions of third parties on their service. The complaint goes as far as to describe the order from the Canadian courts as “repugnant”.
Google also notes that it is the sole recipient of an order to change search results and that Equeestek has not taken more direct action against Datalink. “Upon information and belief, Equustek has not sought similar delisting injunctions against the world’s other search engines, such as Bing or Yahoo; has not taken action against other third-party websites (such as social media or press websites) displaying links to Datalink websites; has not pursued more targeted remedies against Datalink’s registrars or its webhosts, which could remove Datalink’s websites from the internet entirely; and has not stopped the sale of Datalink’s products through Amazon. Equustek did not even seek to seal the Datalink website addresses themselves before any court.”
Google has asked the court for a declaration that the Canadian ruling is unenforceable in the US and a permanent injunction against enforcing it. It also notes that while it believes the Canadian court order is illegal, it is complying with it at this time.