Court Rules Google Not Liable For Bad Products Sold Through AdWords

Feel like you got defrauded by someone who lured you to their site through an ad on Google? Don’t expect that you’ll be able to go after Google itself for running the ad. A US federal court ruled that Google wasn’t liable in a case involving ringtones, which would also seem applicable to any type of product or service.

Court Clears Google In Ringtone Ad Suit from MediaPost covers the case. New Jersey resident Jenna Goddard claimed that she was billed for a ringtone subscription she didn’t want, after visiting a site she found through Google’s ads and leaving her number with the site.

US District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose ruled that the federal Communications Decency Act protects Google for being liable over ads created in the AdWords system. He wrote:

Providing third parties with neutral tools to create Web content is considered to be squarely within the protections of (the law) … even if a service provider knows that third parties are using such tools to create illegal content, the service’s provider’s failure to intervene is immunized.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Legal | Legal: General | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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