Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

The facts in Tamiz v Google

Mr Payam Tamiz (“the Claimant”) was a candidate for local elections in Thanet in 2011. He resigned from his candidacy after he was alleged to have made inappropriate remarks. After his resignation a blog post was written on the “London Muslim blog” relating to the Claimant’s remarks. Comments were made on this blog post, eight of which were the subject of the litigation in Tamiz v Google Inc & Anor. These comments referred to Mr Tamiz as a “racist” and alleged that Mr Tamiz sold drugs, among other things. Mr Tamiz was unhappy with this and complained to the “Blogger” platform, which Google Inc owned. After correspondence with Google on the issue Mr Tamiz issued a claim form on or about 10 August 2011. It was issued on 16 August 2011 and the Master gave permission for Mr Tamiz to serve the claim form in California on 22 September 2011.

Google Inc sought to have the order allowing serving of the claim form on Google Inc set aside on the following grounds:

  1. That Google Inc is not a publisher of the material in question but a neutral service provider and could not have been expected to investigate whether such comments were defamatory
  2. That Google is not a publisher for the purposes of the English law of defamation
  3. That even if Google Inc were held to be a publisher, it would be protected from liability for the defamatory comments by virtue of Regulation 19 of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002

The law relating to defamation

In order for a Claimant to succeed in a claim for defamation they must show that:

  1. That a defamatory statement has been made
  2. That this defamatory statement refers to the Claimant
  3. That the defamatory statement was published to at least one other person apart from the Claimant

In order for a statement to be defamatory it must lower the Claimant in the eyes of right-thinking people. This is an objective test.

Further, the defamatory statement must refer to the Claimant (even though it is not necessary that the Defendant should have intended that the statement refers to the Claimant). A statement can be defamatory even if it doesn’t mention the Claimant by name.

Thirdly – and this is the salient point in question in Tamiz v Google – the defamatory statement referring to the Claimant must have been communicated to at least one other person than the Claimant themselves. The issue at hand in Tamiz v Google was whether Google Inc could be held to be a publisher and therefore liable for the comments.

The High Court’s judgment in Tamiz v Google

The High Court first considered whether the comments made were defamatory. The Judge concluded that at least some of the comments on the blog had a defamatory sting.  Whether Google was a publisher for the purposes of the English common law of defamation was then reflected upon. Mr Justice Eady found that Google Inc was not a publisher under defamation law as it was not required to take any positive step to remove offending material from the Blogger platform as its role as a platform provider was a purely passive one. Mr Tamiz’s claim for defamation failed. Although the Judge had no need to consider defences to the defamation claim on this basis he nonetheless proceeded to do so. Judge Eady therefore considered s.1 of the Defamation Act 1996 and concluded that a defence would be viable on this basis. He also concluded that an alternative defence based upon Regulation 19 of the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 would exempt Google from liability for defamation.

Tagged with →  

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.68 Average

69 Reviews

Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

Posted 2 days ago

Nicola W

Fantastic service, very quick and efficient. Thank you

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

Posted 1 week ago

Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Rana provide a great service, very informed, diligent and care about your result, would recommend Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 1 month ago

Federico S

Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

Posted 1 month ago

Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 1 month ago

Francis T

The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 1 month ago