Strict Liability For Forum Owners

6 comments

A German court has found forum owners liable for the legal consequences of forum posts notwithstanding lack of knowledge.

Comments

Stupid

It's like that last little scuffle, WWII, has made them all brain damaged.

What part of most forums NOT being a business do these idiots not get?

Never a dull moment in German law.

Here in the UK it's already

Here in the UK it's already known that forum operators are liable for comments - I had a run in at Platinax with a company that tried to hold all my business identities liable for potentially libellous comments posted there.

Removing the comments wasn't good enough - they wanted all data on posters who made the comments as well. I refused and stopped replying to their very aggressive solicitor's letters, and they seem to have dropped the matter on the grounds - looks more like they just wanted to threaten to get things done.

Godfrey V Demon

Laurence Godfrey V Demon Internet Ltd.
Its been settled in the UK for some time hasnt it?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godfrey_v._Demon

Godfrey V Demon

That's scary.

It would appear the proper thing to do is host all your forums anonymously in the Cayman Islands.

No, but if the forum is

No, but if the forum is serious, reigster it as a limited company, which costs around £35 online. That way if the forums faces legal action, you can separate it from your personal and other business liabilities.

That's precisely what I did with Platinax, though the company chasing the issue was so aggressive it claimed to hold that company, my SEO company, and myself personally liable. Was not impressed with their threatening behaviour but not necessarily likely to go anywhere.

Oh - and if you do register a company, be very aware of the jurisdiction of your registered offices - so it you plan to lease offices, make sure you consider your legal jurisdiction carefully.

England V Germany

The German forum owners are liable per se but the British forum owners are only liable if they fail to remove the post after being put on notice.
A considerable difference.
The slanderous poster is liable come what may.

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