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Google ordered to pay USD 500,000 to F1 racer Barrichello
Sao Paulo: Internet giant Google has been ordered to pay USD 500,000 in damages to Formula 1 racer Rubens Barrichello for hosting fake online profiles of him on its social network Orkut.

The decision by the court in Sao Paulo was published yesterday in the Brazilian state's official government gazette.

It said the damages could be raised to USD 700,000 because of the case was lodged in July 2006, and that Google risked a daily fine of USD 590 until the pages referring to Barrichello were removed.

Orkut, owned by Google, has a big following in Brazil, though it is losing some ground to a new Portuguese-language version of Facebook that has become available.

The 15th district court of Sao Paulo hearing the civil case determined that Google's responsibility was proved because it managed the site and established the rules for its use.

Media said there were more than 300 fake profiles under Barrichello's name on Orkut.

The US Internet company made no immediate comment on the judgement.

Brazilian specialists said the amount of damages was the biggest yet awarded for false web profiles and online libel.

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