Freedom of expression

A Belgian court ruled on freedom of expression and respect for private and family life

Liège Court of Appeal, ruling dated 25.09.14, 2013/GR/393

Belgium Protection of individuals with regard to processing of personal data – Respect for privacy and family life – Freedom of expression – Balancing these two fundamental rights – Posting of archives of a daily online – Right to be forgotten of a person having been the subject of a news article – Non-contractual liability of the daily editor*

In its ruling dated 25 September 2014, the Liège Court of Appeal was called upon to settle a dispute between a doctor who caused, when drunk, a serious road accident in 1994, and a daily that had implemented since 2008, free access on its website to all of its articles published since 1989, including the electronic version of an article from the time of the accident caused by the doctor and stating the facts of that accident, for which the doctor had been convicted in criminal proceedings. The name of the doctor, who was the subject of a rehabilitation decision in 2006, was explicitly mentioned therein.

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The German Federal Court (BGH) on balancing of IP and copyright against the freedom of the press and freedom of expression

BGH, Urteil vom 14.10.2010, I ZR 191/08

The present case concerns the balancing of IP and Copyright against the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) reversed the contested decision of the appeal court, because the latter decided that the acts of the respondent (namely the setting of a link which led to the access of an internetsite which was illegal) are not justified on the basis of freedom of expression and freedom of press reporting. According to the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof) the abovementioned acts are covered by the freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of press reporting on the basis of Article 6 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 11 para. 1 and 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU Charter).

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