Brazil court revises ban on YouTube over sex video

SAO PAULO Tue Jan 9, 2007 6:27pm EST

Model Daniela Cicarelli during Sao Paulo Fashion Week, January 20, 2005. A Brazilian court said on Tuesday that Internet service providers could allow Web surfers access to YouTube, a day after they started blocking it because of a video of Cicarelli apparently having sex with her boyfriend. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Model Daniela Cicarelli during Sao Paulo Fashion Week, January 20, 2005. A Brazilian court said on Tuesday that Internet service providers could allow Web surfers access to YouTube, a day after they started blocking it because of a video of Cicarelli apparently having sex with her boyfriend.

Credit: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian court said on Tuesday that Internet service providers could allow Web surfers access to the popular video-sharing site YouTube, a day after they started blocking it because of a celebrity sex video.

Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of soccer great Ronaldo, sued YouTube after a video of her apparently having sex with her boyfriend in shallow water on a beach in Spain was posted to the site.

Judge Enio Santarelli Zulianio last week ordered YouTube, a unit of search engine Google Inc., to be shut down until the video was removed.

But on Tuesday he revised his ruling to say that Internet providers could reestablish access to the site if YouTube permanently removed the video.

He also said the Internet providers must block access to the steamy footage, which was the most viewed video in Brazil for days last year.

Technology experts say getting rid of the video entirely is difficult because users can repost it under different titles.

YouTube fans who could not access the site on Monday sent 20,000 e-mails to Cicarelli's employer, MTV Brasil, complaining about the ban, local media reported.

Cicarelli and boyfriend Renato Malzoni, who works for Merrill Lynch, filed last year to force YouTube to take the video down and demanded $116,000 in damages for each day the video remained.

The case dragged on for several months before Malzoni filed a third suit in December requesting that YouTube be shut down as long as the video is available to users.

Google has had other legal trouble in Brazil. Last year, a Brazilian court demanded Google disclose data on local users of its social networking site Orkut who had pages with content supporting racism or child pornography.

Google took down some of those Orkut pages but has said that under U.S. law it could not reveal user data.

Malzoni's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

YouTube said it is being cooperative.

"We trust that Brazilian authorities have recognized our efforts to remove all copies of the video, and we will continue to do so as we become aware that it has been reposted," said Jaime Schopflin, a YouTube official.

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