Yahoo cannot link the name of Universal church to the ‘royal mint’ – ‘casa da moeda’ (the place where the money is printed).
Brazilian Yahoo is obligated to take away from its search engine on the website the link between the name of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and the expression ‘money house’. The order comes from the judge Alexandre Almeida, from São Paulo. The judge determined a daily charge of R$500 (approximately £125) in case the decision is not followed.
“It is obvious that linking the image of a non for profit religious institution to an expression related to money – in this case the ‘casa da moeda’ – could lead the unaware users of the website to believe that the institution has profit intentions. This circumstance has to be repelled, due to its harming potential”, the judge said.
The UCKG says that in March 2006 they were surprised to discover that the web users of Yahoo provider of access and content were lead to UCKG’s page when searching for ‘casa da moeda’.
The Church took the matter to court, asking for the reference to be withdrawn. According to the document, to tie these two institutions together damages the image of the church, a solely religious and cultural institution.
Yahoo defended itself by saying that eliminating the search tool was going to be impossible, since it would impede the utilisation of the web as a source of information. Technically, the authors of the articles that referred to UCKG as ‘Casa da moeda’ were to blame, and not the search engine. Yahoo sustained that they are not responsible for that, even because they have no interest in harming the image of the Church whatsoever.
The judge of the first instance gave an order for the website to take away the temporary the link, but Yahoo appealed to Justice Tribunal, saying that it was not within their power to obey the sentence given by the court.
The case went back to the original court where the case started, and the judge understood that since Yahoo provides the service, they should be responsible for impeding and avoiding this kind of references, that may harm people or institutions images. In the judge’s opinion, the embarrassment caused by the association of the Church to an institution that fabricates and distributes money is obvious. Yahoo is appealing against the sentence.
Note to editors:
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are 36 UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7686 6033.