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Google Faces Copyright Lawsuit Over Online Harassment

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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Google currently facing copyright infringement lawsuit initiated photographer based Chicago

Google is currently facing a copyright infringement lawsuit initiated by a photographer based in Chicago. The lawsuit claims that Google did not adequately address the actions of unidentified individuals who continuously harassed and impersonated others online.

The plaintiff, Candace Morgan, claims that these users not only posted disparaging reviews of businesses associated with her but also used her name and a copyrighted selfie without permission.

Candace Morgan, a Chicago-based photographer, and business manager filed a lawsuit against Google and two anonymous users in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. According to the complaint, in 2022, two users on the Google Maps app began posting malicious and derogatory reviews targeting businesses connected to Morgan. As the harassment continued, the anonymous users escalated their actions by assuming Morgan's identity and using her copyrighted selfie.

Morgan claims that the impersonation and use of her copyrighted material caused significant harm to her personal and professional reputation. She further alleges that despite reporting the issue to Google, the tech giant took no action to address the ongoing harassment and protect her rights.

This lawsuit highlights the challenges faced by online platforms in dealing with online harassment and impersonation. As social media and review platforms become increasingly integral to our lives, they must grapple with ensuring user accountability while safeguarding the rights and well-being of individuals like Candace Morgan.

Google, like other tech giants, operates platforms that host user-generated content. While these platforms enable user expression and contribute to the free exchange of ideas, they also present opportunities for misuse and abuse. Balancing the responsibility of moderation with protecting freedom of speech is an ongoing challenge.

 While Google has systems and policies in place to tackle such issues, this lawsuit may serve as a wake-up call for the company to re-evaluate its procedures and improve its response to complaints of this nature.

It might prompt discussions on the necessity of stronger regulations regarding user accountability and the protection of copyrighted material on online platforms. Governments and regulatory bodies around the world may scrutinize and re-evaluate the existing laws and regulations governing these issues.

The lawsuit against Google alleging copyright infringement, online harassment, and impersonation underlines the ongoing challenges faced by online platforms in maintaining user accountability. While platforms like Google strive to strike a balance between fostering freedom of expression and combating abuse, incidents like these raise important questions about the effectiveness of their current measures. The outcome of this lawsuit could potentially have far-reaching implications for the industry, prompting a re-examination of policies, regulations, and user protection on online platforms.

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