European blogs and British courts21/06/2007 Written by Alberto Redi (halfmoon)
Today, June 21st 2007, a strict regulation integrating Europe’s ecommerce laws with British Terrorism Act has come into law . According to this regulation, the Electronic Commerce Directive, in some cases a foreign company can be brought to justice in the UK over blog postings that encourage terrorism.
In the Terrorism Act, already introduced in 2006, it is pointed out that specific police constables can ask a blog’s operator to remove those posts, remarks, comments which are considered as potentially inciting to committing terrorist acts.
The time left to remove the offending post is two days. In case the deadline is not respected, and in absence of a “reasonable excuse”, blog’s operators and directors could be charged with serious accusation and could face up to 7 years in prison.
The obligation to comply with such law concerns the UK and companies in the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes 27 EU members plus Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. This means that blog postings published everywhere in the EEA can be subjected to the action of British constables, the register reportsThe regulations also extend certain protections of the E-commerce Directive to the Terrorism Act.According to the register, the Electronic Commerce Directive also applies to cases of copyright infringement including any “repeat statement”, which the Act defines as a statement ” for all practical purposes, to the same effect as the statement to which the notice related”.The Act says also that nobody can endorse a repeat statement unless he or she is ” aware of the publication of the repeat statement”.