European Court Cleared News Sites of Liability for Reader CommentsAdded: Saturday, February 6th, 2016
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
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The European Court of Human Rights has just ruled that news portals cannot be held responsible for the comments by their readers, whatever they are. The ruling was delivered after one Hungarian news website was sued over messages left by Internet users on its forum. It was Index.hu news website whose readers expressed their anger by a series of rude comments about a real-estate company. The latter got offended and successfully sued Index.hu. Moreover, the real-estate company also sued an association for Hungarian online companies in the local courts for allowing the comments to be published.
The news portal explained that it had immediately deleted the offending comments after it was notified about their existence, but it doesn’t think it could not be held responsible for what its readers posted. Lawyers of Index.hu argued that making the news website responsible for comments “would have serious adverse repercussions for the freedom of expression and the democratic openness”.
The European Court of Human Rights agreed, saying the Hungarian courts had for some reason failed to balance the need to prevent abuse with the right to free expression. The judges of the European Court did admit that the comments were “offensive and vulgar”, but at the same time pointed out that they did not constitute clearly unlawful speech, hate speech or incitement to violence.
It should be noted that the rights groups often criticized Hungary for its treatment of the media. In particular, the Prime Minister of the country is accused of muzzling the press. He brought in new media laws and a powerful central watchdog 5 years ago and introduced a new media tax in 2014, which was considered by the critics as an attempt to tame the opposition press and push out foreign broadcasters.
Saturday, February 6th, 2016
|So news sites cleared of liability for reader comments. Saw something about Youtube not responsible for users copyright infringement (?) so why oh why are ISP's responsible for users activities? Its like making the Highways Authority responsible for thefts made by people who used a road to commit their crime. And if they were caught and prosecuted they wouldn't really be banned for driving because of it. As always IMO!|
|posted by (2016-02-07 20:03:13)|
|Isn't the bigger story that a website can be sued for inflammatory comments. Libel and slander are one issue, but if you write opinion that upsets other people you can be sued? Is there no freedom of speech anymore? Just another sign that Europe is burning to the ground.||
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