In Italy a court in Milan has decided that three Google executives can be held liable for the violation of the privacy of an Italian boy with Down Syndrome.

The boy was bullied and harassed. A video was made of one such occasion and was uploaded to Google Video in September 2006.

A complaint was launched by an Italian advocacy group for people with Down's Syndrome.

Google's senior communications manager, Bill Echikson, finds the decision incompressible:

"They didn't upload it, they didn't film it, they didn't review it and yet they have been found guilty"

However, it's precisely the "didn't review" which is at the heart of the matter. Public prosecutor Alfredo Robledo:

"A company's rights cannot prevail over a person's dignity. This sentence sends a clear signal."

Earlier this month a German court ruled that popular file sharing site Rapidshare can be held accountable for copyrighted works it hosts.

Agreeing with six global publishers, the court said that Rapidshare has to monitor its own site, esnuring no copyrighted material is made available through it and to prevent access to such material if uploaded.

Featuring both free and premium download services, Rapidshare would face substantial fines for non-compliance.