Barrichello gets Google libel payout

Rubens Barrichello

Nov.10 (GMM) Rubens Barrichello has won a legal case against the internet giant Google. The official Sao Paulo government gazette said the formula one veteran is to receive $500,000, because the Google-hosted Brazilian social networking service hosted hundreds of false profiles bearing Barrichello’s name.

The damages will almost certainly rise above $500,000, because Google faces additional $590 fines for each day the profiles continue to be online.

When checked on Tuesday, many of the profiles cast the 37-year-old Paulista in a negative light, including some depicting him as a ‘tartaruga’ (turtle).

According to O Globo, he would not comment on the case, but his lawyer is said to have confirmed that the damages will be donated to the Instituto Barrichello Kanaan charity.

Google did not comment, but Brazilian reports suggested the damages are unprecedented for online libel.