Yahoo to appeal Italian court's ruling on search

A court has ordered the company to remove links that lead to pirated content

Yahoo is planning to appeal an Italian court's ruling that it should remove links leading to a pirated Iranian movie from its search index.

The ruling, made in late March by the 9th Division of the Court of Rome, found that Yahoo was liable for contributory copyright infringement for listing links to websites that hosted the film "About Elly" by director Asghar Farhadi.

The film's Italian distribution company, PFA Films, asked the court for an injunction that would force Yahoo to remove the links, which Yahoo said lead to sites such as Google's YouTube and other sites such as DailyMotion. Yahoo said it did not host clips of the movie.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said the company would appeal, and it does not have to remove the links yet unless it loses the case.

Google and Microsoft were also targeted by the injunction but the court found that their subsidiaries did not directly manage the search engines from within Italy. Yahoo's search engine is on a domain name that is owned by its Italian operations.

Under European Union regulations, service providers are exempt from liability if their networks cache or transmit illegal or infringing content, but those organizations do have a duty to act to remove it. The directive, however, does not spell out how fast that is supposed to occur.

Italy does not yet have a legal framework for how copyright holders should notify infringing parties similar to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but the country is considering adopting one.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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Jeremy Kirk

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