No intermediary liability for bloggers

By EDRi · March 27, 2013

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Deutsch: [Blogger haften nicht für Kommentare Dritter |]

Bloggers should not be considered liable for third-party comments on
their posts in cases when they have not specifically intervened in the
content at issue, as doing so would strongly affect freedom of expression.

This is the clear position of the EDRi-member Article 19 that comes in
relation to a case now pending with the European Court of Human Rights
(ECtHR) in which a Polish municipal councillor was sued because there
had been allegedly defamatory comments to one of his posts, addressed to
the mayor of the town, during the electoral campaign. Although the
blogger removed the respective comments, the Polish courts ruled that he
should be held liable for the comments on the basis of an electoral law
and argued that running a website that allows such comments should be
considered an action that is contrary to public policy and the
principles of social coexistence.

On 19 March 2013, Article 19 filed third-party intervention submissions
in this ECtHR case considering it significant for the issue of
intermediary liability. In its opinion, “bloggers should not be
considered responsible for third-party comments as publishers in
circumstances where they have not specifically intervened in the content
at issue. This is equally true when bloggers put in place a moderation
system. To hold otherwise would have a serious chilling effect on
freedom of expression.”

ARTICLE 19 to European Court: bloggers should not be liable for
user-generated content (19.03.2013)

Personal interest, case I ACa 1273/11 (3.10.2011)

Blogger has won the case. He is not liable for Internet users’ comments