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.