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October 28, 2009

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Website sued over naked photos

"MARITIME girl" - the victim of a jilted boyfriend who posted naked pictures of her online - took her lawsuit against China's largest search engine to Shanghai's Jing'an District court yesterday.

She is seeking a written apology, 40,000 yuan (US$5,856) in compensation and action by to delete all the indecent photos.

The court said it would render a decision soon as the two parties failed to reach a settlement yesterday.

The plaintiff, a student at Shanghai Maritime University in her mid-20s, did not attend yesterday's hearing because of the intense public attention her case has generated, her lawyer said.

Cyber revenge

"Maritime girl," or "hai yun nu" as she is known in Chinese, caused a sensation in May when a former boyfriend surnamed Zhu posted naked pictures and videos of her on the Internet.

The woman said Zhu took revenge against her because they broke up and she refused to reconcile with him. Zhu is under criminal detention for distributing pornographic pictures.

At the height of the notoriety, typing "hai yun nu" into an Internet search engine brought up about 58 million entries.

Even yesterday, links to the images were still available on Baidu, despite the fact that her lawyer posted a statement on the Website and in newspapers saying legal action would be taken against anyone spreading the pictures.

In her suit, the plaintiff said the Website neglected its duty to monitor its content and delete the pictures. The failure to act violated her reputation and dignity, she charged.

Baidu argued it cannot automatically judge whether the links turned up in a search violate the rights of others. Baidu also said it can't distinguish indecent pictures from innocent ones.

Baidu said it had tried to erase links to Yin's pictures, but it is impossible for the Website to delete all the images or links because some Netizens continue to upload the items to third-party sites. Baidu can't control content at other Websites, the defendant said.


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