A US JUDGE has ruled that Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook, along with other search engines and social networks, must remove links to web sites selling fake goods, marking a landmark victory against the online black market.
Fashion vendor Chanel launched the case by suing 600 web sites that were deemed to be selling counterfeit Chanel products, usually at significantly cheaper prices than the genuine products. The web sites primarily sold handbags, watches and sunglasses.
Judge Dawson of the Nevada US District Court ordered Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to delist the offending web sites from their search engines, and also told Facebook, Twitter and Google to remove the links from their social networks, according to the BBC.
The judge also ordered domain name company Godaddy to take control of the web site domains and block them from being accessed.
Finally, the defendants were told to cease selling Chanel products or using Chanel's name, logo and related trademarks.
Google has previously fought against counterfeit goods sellers exploiting its Adwords network, closing down thousands of accounts, but this ruling will force it to address listings on its search engine and in Google+.
Ebay was also ordered to take greater involvement in weeding out fake product listings when the EU Court of Justice told it in July that it might be liable for trademark infringement if it does not remove sellers of counterfeit L'Oreal products.
The INQUIRER contacted Facebook about the court order, but it refused to comment. We are awaiting responses from some of the other companies cited in the ruling.
Google responded to a request for comment, saying it has not been approached by the courts about this and can offer no comment at the moment. µ
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