Max Mosley sues Google over sex party photographs
Max Mosley, the former Formula 1 chief, is suing Google for continuing to publish images of him at a sex party.
Mr Mosley, whose father Sir Oswald was the wartime British fascist leader, won £60,000 damages from the now-defunct News of the World tabloid in 2008 after an earlier High Court action.
Now Mr Mosley has launched a new legal claim against Google, the search engine giant, for reproducing sexual images related to the earlier case.
Proceedings have been issued against Google’s British arm and its California-based parent company, claiming that continuing to link to the images is a “misuse of private information” and a breach of data protection laws.
Mr Mosley said: "As the gateway to the internet Google makes enormous profits and has great influence, so I have not taken this action lightly.
"But Google should operate within the law rather than according to rules it makes itself. It cannot be allowed to ignore judgments in our courts."
The 74-year-old former president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the motorsport governing body, won damages from the News of the World after the High Court ruled the newspaper incorrectly claimed there was a Nazi theme to sex parties he attended.
Mr Mosley said the role-play sessions with with five prostitutes at a rented basement in Chelsea, west London, were harmless, consensual and private, with no Nazi overtones.
His law firm Payne Hicks Beach said the new proceedings followed "extensive attempts to persuade Google to resolve the matter outside the courts".
Mr Mosley has previously won similar cases against Google in France and Germany, which the internet company is appealing against.
A spokesman for Google said: “We have worked with Mr Mosley to address his concerns and taken down hundreds of URLs [internet links] about which he has notified us."
Sources in the company said they would fight the new High Court claim.
Mr Mosley’s request would require Google to expend large resources pro-actively searching for copies of the disputed images, and would “lead to censorship”, said the sources, who had detailed knowledge of the case.
Mr Mosley’s action comes after a landmark decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union in May which said Google must consider applications for web links to be removed under the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
It is understood Mr Mosley is unable to use the “right to be forgotten” because as a public figure he is outside the terms set out by the European judges.
His lawyers said the new High Court claim was not related to the "right to be forgotten".