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Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Dmitrii Borodin
Search engine operator as an information intermediary
Corporate Lawyer
(Master’s programme)
Operators of search engines (hereinafter – SEO) constitute one of the most controversial types of information intermediaries. The Russian law does not provide a specific regulation for their legal status. At the same time, due to specificity of the SEO activity, including very low degree of control over the distribution of content through the Internet, the applicability of legal regulations of other categories of information intermediaries to the SEO is very limited.

It is also challenging to qualify the actions of the SEO from the perspective of copyright infringement. Unlike many other intermediaries, operations performed by a search engine, are often not covered by such common categories of Intellectual Property Law as "copy", "residing", "distribution", etc.

The aim of the thesis is to determine the applicability and conditions for an application of the existing copyright remedies, including both monetary and injunctive reliefs, to the SEO as an information intermediary. According to the author's view, the analysis of the legal status of the SEO as an information intermediary from the perspective of relevant legal remedies is the most appropriate way for such an analysis as it provides completeness and practical value of the results.

The author comes to the following main conclusions:

1. Usual SEO activity does not constitute an offence – the SEO is not responsible for links to illegal content in the search results.

2. Restraints are only enforceable through a judicial order.

3. The only enforceable requirement is the removal of specific pages from the search results. The duty to monitor the content is unacceptable in any form.

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