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A Japanese man has applied for a provisional disposition order requesting Google to remove some search results based on the search results of his own name on Google; Google displayed so many search results which hinted at his commitment of a crime in the past.
The Tokyo District Court decided to order Google to remove such search results and Google removed them in accordance with the reception of this decision.

The man said that he has used the Europe's "right to be forgotten" ruling as a reference.
The referential case was as follows: A Spanish man requested Google to remove some search results and references to his negative past record, including the past arrears of social insurance premium. European Court of Justice regarded Google as a "Provider of contents" and admitted this man's request.
In the Japanese case above, the petitioner used the judgment by the European Court of Justice as a reference and insisted that search results are contents and should be treated the same as articles themselves, so Google, who is responsible for managing such contents, has an obligation to remove illegal search results.

These days, there are so many defamation incidents over the Internet, such as defamation on the message board online. 
Come to think of it however, we usually use a search engine, namely Google, when we want to search something, which allows us to access some websites and/or articles through its results. 
Therefore, if we can remove such retrieved results, it will become very difficult for us to access those defamatory articles, which results in the improvement of this harmful situation.

From my experience, I think that the number of requests for consultation relating to slander or defamation on the Internet has been increasing recently.
This case was an individual requesting the removal of search results due to the infringement of his moral right, but I think that it can possibly become a new problem whether or not companies can request the removals of search results due to the infringements of their business rights. 

According to a Nikkei newspaper article dated September 3, 2014, the Supreme Court will establish “Business Court” which specializes in litigation relating to business such as “intellectual property” or “bankruptcy” by the end of 2021.
Business Court will be fully equipped with video and audio apparatus so that we can hold a television meeting with a remote court or oral arguments can be conducted by using teleconference system.

Personally, I do not think that the present court system has sufficiently exhibited the function of conflict resolution relating to business (especially in the point of“speed”), so I hope Business Court will satisfy the parties to the dispute of business and become a revolutionary court.


According to a Nikkei newspaper article dated August 19, 2014, a restaurant manager who lives in the Kanto Region has applied for a provisional disposition order to request Facebook, Inc. to disclose the identification information of a sender as the restaurant has been receiving slandering messages through Facebook, and Tokyo District Court decided to order the disclosure of the sender's identification information such as an IP address.

What would happen next then?
If the provisional disposition order becomes final and binding, the restaurant will be able to specify the sender who posted the slandering messages based on the disclosed information such as an IP address or log-in data and time through the provider. After that, the restaurant will demand consolation money from the sender. 

We have to be extremely careful when we write some comments or massages over the Internet. If we write slandering messages anonymously and take the matter carelessly, we might be tracked down and claimed for associated damages.