The case brings us back to the year 1996, when four students from a school in Turin posted a video on Google Videos, a video search engine owned by Google. The video showed the four students bullying a boy with autism, and it stayed on the site for two months. After comments it has received from its users, Google eventually took the video down. But it was already too late.
Google executives David Drummond, George De Los Reyes, and Peter Fleischer were asked to appear on court to explain why the company allowed the video to be posted online. In February 2010, Italian judge Oscar Magi sentenced the executives to a six-month prison sentence but cleared them of defamation charges.
Thankfully, as reported by Reuters, the appeals court has acquitted the three executives today, thereby overturning the previous ruling. David Drummond is now the Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Google, while George De Los Reyes was a former Google Italy board member. Peter Fleischer is now Google’s Global Privacy Counsel.