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Google bomber fined $37,000 for libel

According to this article, a coffee roaster business rival has learned that playing nasty tricks like "Google Bombing" can land them in big trouble.  The Defendant denies Google bombing, but the jury has yet to award punitive damages, with could be millions of dollars:

A worker at a gourmet coffee company is guilty of libel for hijacking a rival roaster's Web site and linking it to pages displaying pornography and foul language, a jury has found.

Tim Dominick, roasting director of Sacred Grounds in Arcata, was found guilty Thursday of two counts of libel and one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress against the owners of Bayside Roasters.

Dominick bought the Bayside Roasters Web site domain name when the registration lapsed and linked the site's address to a page containing definitions of an off-color word for a body part, the jury found.

Later Dominick caused a pornographic Web site to be the first site recommended on the Google search engine when users typed in Bayside Roasters, according to the ruling, a practice known as "Google-bombing." . . .

The jury awarded Pamela and Kregen Olsen, owners of Bayside Roasters, $37,000 in compensatory damages. A judge on Tuesday is set to decide how much the couple should receive in punitive damages.


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