German court orders changes to Google search hints

(AP) — A top German court has ordered Google Inc. to act on requests to remove autocomplete entries from the search engine after a suit claimed the feature made defamatory suggestions.

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe upheld a complaint from an unidentified company selling nutritional supplements and its founder, identified only as "R.S."

The plaintiffs claimed when their names were entered on Google's German-language website, it suggested links to Scientology and fraud.

The autocomplete function is based on algorithms that take into account what other users have searched for.

In its decision, the court said Google didn't have to vet all autocomplete suggestions in advance but did have to remove defamatory results when notified.

A spokeswoman for Google in Germany said the company would comment on the verdict later Tuesday.

Associated Press

Authors: provided on tsx today section of eStockMarkets

What is S&P/TSX Composite Index?

S&P/TSX Composite Index

The TSX stock exchange defines an index as a statistical measure of the state of the stock market, based on the performance of certain stocks. The performance of the index is typically viewed as a broad indicator of the direction of the economy. Originally known as the TSE 300 the composite index was created in 1977, with a base level of 1000 as of 1975. Through the years the index consisted of a sample of 300 companies, though the companies that comprised the index varied from year to year. Stocks were dropped when they no longer met exchange requirements for size and liquidity.

Effective May 1st, 2002 the index has been managed by Standard & Poor's Corp. of New York. The name was changed from the TSE 300 to the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Along with the S&P branding came new rules. Tougher criteria for meeting size and liquidity standards were imposed and there is now no fixed number of companies in the index. Since May 2002 the number of companies has dropped from 300 to 212 as of November of 2003.

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