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Italian Court Rules Web Editors Not Responsible For Comments 72

itwbennett writes "Internet freedom got a boost Wednesday when Italy's highest court ruled that the editors of online publications can't be held legally responsible for defamatory comments posted by their readers. The judges said online publications could not be treated in the same way as traditional print media and could not be expected to exercise preventative editorial control over readers' comments."
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Italian Court Rules Web Editors Not Responsible For Comments

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  • Re:Sadly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CmdrPony ( 2505686 ) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:07AM (#38224282)
    The poster? Just that it doesn't show your details on the page doesn't mean it makes you invulnerable to prosecution if you break the law. Even Slashdot saves the ip addresses of commenters and if you post something that breaks the law and police comes asking about it, they have to hand out the details. That is not going to ever change either.
  • by srussia ( 884021 ) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:45AM (#38224390)
    I hold that anonymous allegations, however defamatory, should not be prosecutable. It's anonymous, wouldn't a reasonable person just dismiss any such allegation considering the source?

    Got my Nomex suit on, so let's go!
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:14AM (#38224472) Homepage

    If everything has to go all the way to the court system, how can the society function?

    Quite well, actually. It doesn't mean that every instance of something has to go to court, you have big decisions like Sony vs Betamax and then most variations are considered settled case law. There'll always be borderline cases but the contested areas get smaller and smaller. Both in common law and civil law systems you look to higher courts, past cases and similar cases in other jurisdictions and try to be consistent, even if you have different concepts of precedent. Editorial responsibility for comments posted online is typically such a discussion, it'll probably end up in some superior court somewhere and be settled, unless the politicians pass specific laws to make it perfectly clear.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:00AM (#38224844)

    Italy still has strict limitations on free speech, this victory is but a drop in the ocean.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie