"Google, Yahoo! Ordered to Remove Model`s Links to Argentina Porn Sites". by David Haskel. (Reproduced with permission from Privacy & Security Law Report. November, 2006. Copyright 2006 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.).

BUENOS AIRES -- Google and Yahoo! must remove from their local search engines the names of models and actresses that show up in pornography and female-escorts sites without their consent, according to a decision by Argentina's C mara Nacional de Apelaciones en lo Civil y Comercial de la Capital Federal - SALA I (National Court of Appeals in Civil and Commercial Matters at the Federal Capital, Hall I) (Zamolo v. Yahoo de Argentina SRL, CNEspecial Civ. y Com., No. 10411/2006, 11/14/06).

In one of three similar cases, the court Nov. 14 sustained a lower court's order that Sofia Zamolo's name, pictures, and hyperlinks to sex-trade oriented sites be removed by <http://www.yahoo.com.ar> and <http://www.google.com.ar> in order to preserve her constitutional rights to privacy, honor, and good name.

The court rejected Google's and Yahoo!'s allegations that they were mere intermediaries and as such could not be held responsible for a third party's actions.

"Unquestionably, the service provided [by Google and Yahoo!] helps enhance the exposure of those pages," and therefore the removal of the models' names and links is "the most suitable means" to put an end to the situation, the court wrote.

"From April this year until now there have been about 70 similar, separate complaints from Argentine models," Gustavo Tanús, a lawyer specializing in Internet legislation, told BNA Nov. 27. "But the cases are stronger now that an appeals court is upholding them."

Tanús, who is one of the attorneys defending the models, said there were nearly 30 more cases in preparation. "All in all, we expect about 100 cases. At an average $ 50,000 claim from each, there are about $ 5 million at stake," he said.

By David Haskel

Full text of the decision, in Spanish, is available at <http://www.protecciondedatos.com.ar/fallozamolo.htm>.