French Court Fines Blogger For Negative Restaurant Review Prominently Displayed In Google Search

A restaurant owner in France sued a blogger for writing a negative review of her experience at his establishment and ultimately won because the review became too popular in Google's search results. Seriously. Apparently the judge in the case isn't familiar with this whole Internet thing and how it works, hence the goofy outcome.

According to BBC News, the owner of II Giardino restaurant in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France sued Ms. Doudet for writing a blog posted title, "The Place to Avoid in Cap-Ferret: II Giardino." In the post, which no longer appears online, Ms. Doudet takes the restaurant to task for what she perceived as poor service and an unfriendly attitude on the part of an owner when she ate there in August 2013.

Image Source: Flickr (Raphaël Labbé) - not taken from the restaurant in this article.

Though the restaurant owner wasn't happy with the entire review, the judge took issue with the title of the blog and its popularity among Google's search results. Mr. Doudet was subsequently ordered to change the title so that the phrase "the place to avoid" wouldn't be as prominent in search results. The judge also ruled that she must pay €1,500 ( around US$2,000) in damages to the restaurant, plus an additional €1,000 (~US$1,350) to cover the plaintiff's costs.

"This decision creates a new crime of 'being too highly ranked [on a search engine]', or of having too great an influence'," Ms. Doudet told BBC News. "What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people."

Though the article has since been deleted, you can still view it online courtesy of the Wayback Machine.
Via:  BBC News
acarzt 5 months ago

That's insane... There are SO MANY things wrong with this.

The blogger basically got sued for having an opinion and people listening to it.

The restaurant owner decided to SUE rather than address a customer's complaints! If you are unhappy with the review you received, do something to FIX what your CUSTOMERS are complaining about... don't sue them!

I hope the guy goes out of business after this... And hopefully something can be done to reverse the poor decision this judge made.

ThomasTaege 5 months ago

That's ridiculous

DalePeterGolder 5 months ago

I hope your joking.

xXxDOYLExXx 5 months ago

As usual France surrenders again to something, this time the right to free speech.

TomHeckman 5 months ago

Well, it IS France...

JulinRenSilva 5 months ago

It seems that it's not just the Supreme court judges in the U.S. that don't know much about the internet and how it works . . .

TwoFaceTony 5 months ago

Man!. Gotta be careful what you post now a days even if its truthful.

RMedley 5 months ago

The only way to fight it is if everyone who has a blog and or anywhere to post this copies it and does so.

rapid1 5 months ago

The place to avoid the Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino

This entry was published August 24, 2013 in ... She walks is tagged Cap-Ferret , rant , humor , Il Giardino , moody , restaurant . Bookmarquez the permalink . 22 Comments

7807030956_01b499b5dd_oCape Ferret may be paradise, but it is clear that there is a place once charming, that hardly evokes neither Eden nor that of Epicurus: the little restaurant Il Giardino specializing in pizza (but not only!) as his Italianate name might assume, and where we used to make us once or twice a year. This year, not departing from this tradition now anchored in the course of our holiday, we went to dinner.

As the title of this article suggests, we were disappointed. For convenience, I'll leave it there for the simple past you narrate this adventure that does not lack spice, but which leaves against desired drink side and kindness.

When we arrived, the first waiter asked, logically, if we wanted to eat outside or outside, and as there was a lot of wind, we opted for inside, and so went we install a table. Immediately, a harpy in fluorescent jacket on the coat stares us to scold to move us without authorization (while, and one, we had one, authorization, and two ... I do not yell at me too by servers in general - per person, however, but at least when I'm the customer). In short, it does not start very well, but the misunderstanding up, it slips through our menus. And the first fatal error which will result everything else: it does not ask us, as is the custom, if we want a drink. However, an appetizer, we wanted one (as very few customers obviously, but still, it is our right anyway). Comes a second waitress who took our order, but always ask us if we wanted a drink (logic: his colleague was supposed to have done), we are therefore obliged to ask (we wanted).

Ten minutes pass, and still no shade or our appetizer, or our bottle of wine elsewhere. So immediately after taking our order, the second waitress should have us prepare and serve us: the principle of appetizer, it is possible to quietly wait for his flat. Finally, it seems to me. So I hailed a third server (we will lower this thorny issue of web servers) and told him (kindly!) It would be nice to serve us a drink, because otherwise, our dishes will arrive before him . And bingo, while server # 3 brings us (finally! We started to dry us) as our appetizers desired (without peanuts. Was a long time ago, in this restaurant, we were given peanuts with an aperitif. Elsewhere, even gives us true tapas for not more expensive. Ta Panta Rei), our dishes come with waitress # 1. Dishes we refer because damn, suddenly we're only a drink (their fault) and the accompanying evil pastis steak-frites. The grumpy waitress.

And it continues. While we drank comes the boss, unfriendly despite what she will say well (next to the Café Marly servers deserve the Palme d'Or of courtesy), just tell us to let us know when we want our dishes because they already come to throw a steak and that if it should last 1/2 hour in our history, it would be nice to say. We try to explain our concern, and to point out that, for us and for many years, is the source of the problem in many restaurants that servers have more tables and FHLMC they vadrouillent in the wind, so it is no longer any order and reigns utter disorganization. But now she has an excuse (and, I swear I'm not making): it can not work its servers over 44h and it must give them days off, then understand my brave people, it would make it too personal to pay.

Stop! What? She has no right to work employees 24/24 7/7? But frankly, that's the world!

Brief. We brought our own wine (cold!) And our dishes, claimed twice. The steak was new, ok, that was not the case of pizza, dry around the edges. Good. We, nevertheless, a dessert (that were not the people of the next table, parties swearing they would not return). Ok, the ice balls were great. But good.

My mom will pay, and trying to get back on the incident, and is a patron send graze always foul-mouthed and dismissive. And paid aperitifs, source of conflict, then it is customary in restaurants, to offer customers when there is a concern (given the margin that are above, they can afford it).

Conclusion? A restaurant where we will go over because the boss thinks he's a diva (although, seriously, it is not the owner of Chez Hortense, either), one of the waitresses would be well advised never to work in London because it is not likely to be able to live his tips, and we care about the customer and the business sense is approximate. I urge you to note your blacklist if you're in the neighborhood!

(All for two appetizers ... what hold the wars)

Il Giardino

71 Bd Beach

Cap Ferret



Caroline Doudet Caroline Doudet


I like loading ...


22 thoughts on " The place to be avoided at Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino "

Dorothy said:

August 24, 2013 at 09:20

great review! ;) Okay, if I go through the Cap-Ferret, I'll look elsewhere ... Being passed by a pancake Sables d'Olonne last weekend, I can say that even when servers are polite, they hard to be kind ... And I'm afraid it is spreading in the future! My best friend is in the restaurant (in the UK) and can not bear the quarter that you lived! ... I imagine the scene he would! All is lost! kindness and respect first!


Irregular said:

August 24, 2013 at 15:57

Well unfortunately, yes!


cartonsdemma said:

August 24, 2013 at 09:58

Fairly representative I find places that take advantage of tourists. Beautiful critical


Irregular said:

August 24, 2013 at 15:57

Absolutely, but it's a shame!


Elora said:

August 24, 2013 at 12:06

Boggles the mind anyway. Which restaurant you will avoid!


Irregular said:

August 24, 2013 at 15:58

Yes, it is better to go elsewhere!


dasola said:

August 24, 2013 at 12:47

Hello illegal, it is rare that the servers did not ask for a drink because it really is a custom. I do not intend to go to Cap-Ferret, but I remember this place to escape despite the name is pretty. Have a good weekend.


Irregular said:

August 24, 2013 at 15:58

You never know, you go maybe one day!


kathel2 said:

August 24, 2013 at 14:53

Good to know, even if it is far away from me! You can leave your review on Yelp, participatory website very useful when traveling. Reviews about this restaurant are not very representative, and genuine reviews are ... Yelp literary, like yours!;-)


Irregular said:

August 24, 2013 at 15:59

Sites there are full, so I chose to put it here!


kathel2 said:

August 24, 2013 at 16:35

Ok, no problem!


Marion said:

August 25, 2013 at 12:18

The kind of incident that would enrage me also ...


Irregular said:

August 25, 2013 at 16:45

Yes, I think it annoy a lot of people!


Neph said:

August 25, 2013 at 18:21

I had not planned to go, but this kind of attitude that has nothing to do with trade puts me off. Last Saturday, I left a tea for the same kind of things, even before the coup consumed.


Irregular said:

August 26, 2013 at 16:05

We should have ...


csaintonge said:

August 30, 2013 at 02:43

Chez Hortense at Cape Ferret, I was there the last weekend 240 € to four without drinks. Is this reasonable? High reputation in the basin, but in my view justified only because most of the restaurants around the basin are only gargottes to tourists. For me bad value for money however the restaurant is full. It would be nice to have two or three good restaurants and a real brewery at reasonable prices between Arcachon and Cap Ferret. best regards


Irregular said:

August 30, 2013 at 16:40

Hortense, it is a myth (and the view). After there are very good places and a little cheaper: Escale, the Pinnace coffee or discovered this year, the Blue Flag Avenue, Ocean (but there is no view ...)


csaintonge said:

August 30, 2013 at 17:18

thank you for these pipes I try, because I'm on the basin about 3 to 4 months per year depending on weather.



Irregular said:

August 31, 2013 at 16:27

Lucky! You tell me!


csaintonge said:

August 31, 2013 at 19:31

yes, with pleasure.


Stéphane says:

September 25, 2013 at 14:37

Let me recommend a very nice place (including at home ;-) ) to stay in Ferret's Huts Boque, close to the Americans and Belisarius. . capferret Thank you and good luck.


Irregular said:

September 25, 2013 at 21:28

Thank you, I do not know anything!


rapid1 5 months ago

That way it does not get smaller in relevance to Google and or search engines now it gets bigger!!!!!!!!!!!!

KevinLozandier 5 months ago

After reading this, Americans—as well as others in similarly liberal countries—should be grateful we have the freedom of speech we have.

The fact that the court said they would've let it slide if it wasn't easily findable due to popularity and defaming the owner for being a "diva" is eye-opening.

Such laws unnecessarily limit the ability for businesses to actually get the feedback and review of their business to get better and be more deserving of the business they get instead of alternatives. Such laws limit the ability for "keeping it real" reviews like the ones you can find on the Angry Joe Show. Such reviews are extremely valuable.

In my opinion, let the consumers of the reviews think less or more of the reviewer based on what the reviews ability to write or create a review with strong arguments, clear thoughts and conclusions that hold up well throughout the review, and so on...

basroil2 5 months ago

The issue here isn't really internet or not (though France can't legally pursue action against a brit living in England and posting in England, and that's a huge issue itself). The issue is that France, like many other countries, has "defamation" laws rather than the "slander" laws of the US. The difference is that with "defamation" laws, you get punished for saying something that is opinion, truthful, and not malicious. "Slander" on the other hand requires that you tell a lie on purpose with the intent to deceive to cause defamation.

Just post the name of the judges and say they are " freaking idiots (in my opinion) for not considering the effects of a decision such as this. they are a disgusting mark on a similarly disgusting history of french judicial abuses Maybe we'll see google itself get banned and then the french markets tumble.

Ramon Zarat 5 months ago

Great specimen of the Barbara Streisand effect! You can't control the Internet, the Internet control itself.

MADSKILLZ412 4 months ago

This is really hard to believe, considering in america we have so much freedom to express our opinions (Besides Copyright laws) Especially the fact that the author had to pay the restaurant for the so called "Damage"...

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