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Closed Consultations

House of Lords: Online Platforms

The European Commission have recently announced a consultation into online platforms. Last month the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-committee invited submissions of evidence to inform the UK’s response. Although the main focus of both consultations is competition issues, they do revisit the question of intermediary liability for third-party postings. At the moment EU […]

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Articles

Defamation Act – detailed guidance

The Ministry of Justice have now published detailed instructions for website operators who want to use the new Defamation Act 2013 process to handle allegations that third-party postings are defamatory. The instructions set out clearly what information needs to be in each of the communications sent and received by the website operator, and they seem […]

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Articles

Defamation Act 2013 – in force 1st Jan 2014

The Government has recently announced that the Defamation Act 2013 will come into force in England and Wales on January 1st 2014. Section 5 of the Act addresses a couple of problems that have particularly affected Janet customers who operate websites. First, the concern that moderating postings from third parties might give rise to liability […]

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Articles

Defamation Bill – Commons Committee Report

The House of Commons has published a useful summary of progress on the Defamation Bill, which will return to Parliament next week. Clause 5 of the Bill proposes changes to the current regime for websites hosting allegedly defamatory postings from third parties. When it was last discussed in the House, before the summer, concerns were […]

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Closed Consultations

Draft Defamation Act Regulations for Website Operators

Implementation of the new provisions for website operators under the Defamation Act 2013 has come a step closer, with the Ministry of Justice seeking comments on draft implementing Regulations. INFORRM has a summary of the process, with a helpful flowchart. Janet and UCISA have sent a joint response pointing out two frequent situations, and one […]

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Articles

Defamation Act 2013: help for website operators

The passing of the Defamation Act 2013 this week removes a couple of areas of legal uncertainty if you run a website, blog, etc. and someone else posts an article or comment that may be defamatory. First, provided you aren’t acting maliciously, you don’t risk liability merely by moderating what is posted. Second, the Act […]

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Presentations

New Developments for Internet Operators

My talk at Networkshop looked at some of the changes going on in the law, especially in the measures that those who operate parts of the Internet are expected or required to take to help deal with unlawful activities on line. The law recognises a couple of general roles: Internet Access Providers who provide Internet […]

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Closed Consultations

Defamation Bill – process for website operators

[Updated to add clause 6 on peer-reviewed scientific and academic journals] The House of Lords debate of clause 5 of the Defamation Bill this week suggested that the Bill might make it easier for universities and colleges to support vigorous debate through their websites. As Lord May (once the government’s chief scientific advisor) pointed out, […]

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Articles

Defamation Bill – Committee Discusses Moderation

One of the perverse effects of the current law on liability of website operators is that it discourages sites from checking comments and posts provided by others. Instead the law encourages the operator to do nothing until they receive a complaint. Earlier this week the House of Commons Select Committee considered whether an amendment was […]

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Articles

Defamation Bill Second Reading

The Defamation Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Most of the MPs who talked about the new defences for website operators (clause 5 of the Bill) seemed to appreciate the complex balance between protecting reputation and protecting free speech, and agreed with the Justice Secretary: our current libel regime […]