Former Porn Star Found Guilty of Insider Trading Has Web Link Removed
LONDON — A web link to a Telegraph story of a former male porn star busted for insider trading has been removed by Google as part of the "right to be forgotten" directive.
But the link removal likely has amplified the story of Tim Blackstone, who starred in such British porn films of the 1970s as "Desire," "Non-Stop Spunker" and "Gypsies Curse."
Blackstone was not only a stud in the blue movies of the time, he also was the brother of Baroness Tessa Blackstone who was convicted of insider trading in a high-profile case decided in 2003.
Blackstone at the time was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000 plus legal costs of £16,000 after being found guilty of two counts of insider trading at Blackfriars Crown Court. Prosecutors said that he bought 150,000 shares in Murray Financial Corp. after appointed as its public relations adviser.
Throughout the past decade, the Telegraph news post stood handy in Google's search engine for all visitors to see. Until just recently.
Earlier this year the European Court of Justice ruled that search engines must take down links to "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" information," upon notification from a featured individual's request.
Blackstone did just that, and now the link is gone through searches made through Google.co.uk
Adult industry attorney Marc Randazza, whose law firm Randazza Legal Group handles a significant amount of piracy cases in both the U.S. and in the E.U., told XBIZ that the “right to be forgotten” directive is a misnomer.
"There is no such right. Not in Europe, and not in the U.S.," Randazza told XBIZ. "To the extent the 'right' exists, it is a very narrow right to ask a search engine to display search engine results for you, personally, in an accurate and up to date manner. You would think that Google’s vaunted algorithm could do this on its own, but no invention is perfect."
"As a result, a Spanish citizen asked Google to adjust the results for him. Google reacted as it always does when it is asked to do the right thing — it stomped its feet like a tempestuous child and said that it didn’t have to do anything, because it wasn’t subject to European law."
Google then asked to be exempted from the European "right to be forgotten," he said. "The E.U. court said too bad," he said. "That is what the E.U. case that started all this is all about."
"So, lets get one lie out of the story. Blackstone does not have a right to be forgotten. Blackstone has a fundamental right, as a European, to have his personal information managed in a way that respects his privacy.
"That does not restrict anyone from writing about him. That does not mean that The Telegraph can't leave its article up. And, that doesn't mean that XBIZ can't write a cover story on him, his conviction, and even the fact that he wants the stuff taken out of Google's results.
"All it means is that Google doesn't get to infringe on his rights as a European citizen under the E.U. constitution.
"So, I'm sure that you will get some quotes from drama mongers who want to screech that this is infringing the right of free expression. It is not. And, that kind of statement is uneducated for two reasons: First, it is a European fundamental right. Sort of like here in the U.S., where your right to free speech and your right to a fair trial co-exist.
"In the E.U., your right to privacy and your right to free speech are co-equal. The other reason that the sky is not falling is that you're still free to talk about this guy and his history.
"Only Google doesn't get to 'commodify' his information any way he sees fit.
This is an 11-year-old conviction, and at some point, it becomes no longer relevant to whatever you might want to find out about him, Randazza said.
"It should not be front and center in his search results," he said. "Since Google can't act like a grown up and respect his rights simply as a matter of being a good corporate citizen, Google had to be told what to do by the E.U. And, what it has to do is hardly onerous, and hardly impacts all of us all that negatively.
"The irony of this is that Blackstone's efforts to have the results suppressed have now led to even more reporting on the subject. So, while his old conviction is not really relevant to who he is today, his desire to suppress it is. Therefore, in a twist of irony, he's brought more attention to the conviction than if he had just let it go."