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Hur förhåller sig förtal till internetrelaterad kommunikation såsom länkning, framing och bloggar?

Viktorsson, Marcus LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det övergripande ämnet för detta examensarbete är bloggar och deras förhållande till förtal. Jag har i detta arbete presenterat förslag och idéer till hur svenska domstolar bör bedöma frågor såsom länkning, framing, användandet av alias, mellanhänders ansvar samt hur väl brottsbalkens påföljdssystem fungerar i förhållande till förtal på internet.
För att kunna svara på dessa frågor har jag använt mig av svensk och engelsk doktrin och praxis på området, dessutom har jag dragit analogier från andra omkringliggande rättsområden såsom tryck- och yttrandefrihet.

En blogg kan grovt sägas ha två olika former, den ena är att den jämförs med ett traditionellt nyhetsmedium där bloggaren är den samma som den ansvarige utgivaren på en tidning.... (More)
Det övergripande ämnet för detta examensarbete är bloggar och deras förhållande till förtal. Jag har i detta arbete presenterat förslag och idéer till hur svenska domstolar bör bedöma frågor såsom länkning, framing, användandet av alias, mellanhänders ansvar samt hur väl brottsbalkens påföljdssystem fungerar i förhållande till förtal på internet.
För att kunna svara på dessa frågor har jag använt mig av svensk och engelsk doktrin och praxis på området, dessutom har jag dragit analogier från andra omkringliggande rättsområden såsom tryck- och yttrandefrihet.

En blogg kan grovt sägas ha två olika former, den ena är att den jämförs med ett traditionellt nyhetsmedium där bloggaren är den samma som den ansvarige utgivaren på en tidning. Den andra är att bloggen jämförs med en poster som sätts upp på en anslagstavla. Skillnaden ligger i att den ena är grundlagsskyddad och inte den andra.
En annan faktor som en bloggare måste förhålla sig till är internet som medium. Internet är i sin skapelse global och grundförutsättningen för dess funktion är att informationen blir tillgänglig överallt samtidigt, detta innebär att alla som befattar sig med spridandet av information på internet bör vara medvetna om vidden av nationella och internationella straff- och skadeståndsansvar. Jag har kort försökt redogöra för dessa utifrån ett svenskt perspektiv där jag gått igenom svensk domsrätt samt tillämpningen av Bryssel- och Luganokonventionen. Den sistnämnda har idag, med största sannolikhet, utsträckts till att gälla analogt gentemot alla länder.

Då huvudfokus varit bloggar och deras förhållande till förtal har jag valt att koncentrera mitt arbete till två rekvisit i förtalsparagrafen, BrB 5 kap. 1 § som är av särskild vikt för en person som bloggar. Dessa rekvisit är identifiering och spridning.

Identifiering i BrB 5 kap. 1 § är enligt paragrafen enbart att det skall handla om en människa. Tittar man däremot även på åtalsstrukturen utläser man snabbt att det även krävs att det är rätt person som åtalar då brottet är ett målsägarbrott. Av denna anledning är rekvisitet att förstå så att den person som är målsägare måste också vara den som är utpekad i texten. Därav är det viktigt att veta hur domstolarna gör bedömningen av huruvida en person är att anse som identifierad.
Genom mitt arbete har jag kommit till insikt med att domstolarna intagit en vid tolkning av begreppet identifiering. Det är ofta en bevisfråga där målsägaren har en väldigt låg tröskel att komma över och det räcker ofta med att det funnits en risk för att någon person kunnat tro att det är målsägaren som åsyftas i uppgiften. En anmärkningsvärd iakttagelse är att domstolarna till och med ansett det möjligt att dela upp information, exempelvis foto och text, och behandlat dessa som två olika källor till identifiering oavsett om de var motstridiga.

Spridning av en uppgift innefattar flera olika moment men jag har främst fokuserat på ansvaret vid vidarebefordran och länkning. Dessa båda utgör i grunden samma problematik, att en person befattar sig med en redan befintlig uppgift men genom att sprida den vidare får fler personer än vad som var fallet tidigare del av uppgiften. Den rådande svenska tolkningen av vidarebefordran är att detta inte är en ursäktlig omständighet utan BrB 5 kap. 1 § uppställer ett kontrollansvar för alla som befattar sig med en uppgift. Detta medför att även länkning torde bedömas på samma vis. Det finns än idag inget rättsfall där en person blivit fälld för att enbart länkat en uppgift vidare även om jag anser att denna möjlighet torde finnas. Alla former av länkning kan dock inte jämställas rakt av med vidarebefordran utan även faktorer såsom kontroll och insikt i vad som återfinns på den länkade sidan kan fälla avgörandet.
I anslutning till spridning har jag även diskuterat huruvida de mellanhänder som finns på internet kan sägas ha ett ansvar för den information som sprids genom dem eller lagras på deras servrar. De slutsatser jag har kunnat dra har jag även försökt applicera på bloggens kommentarsfält. Det centrala verkar vara vilken deltagandegrad och medvetenhet som finns hos bloggaren eller mellanhanden.

Som avslutning på detta arbete har jag även berört de olika påföljder som finns tillgängliga enligt svensk rätt. Jag upptäckte under arbetets gång att de påföljder som domstolarna använde sig av inte ger offret någon direkt lindring, detta torde bero att den förtalande uppgiften inte försvinner på internet såsom den gjorde förr i tiden utan med dagens sökmotorer kommer all information fram oavsett när den publicerades.

Jag kan efter att ägnat en stor del av tid till att undersöka alla dessa frågor konstatera att i motsats till min ursprungshypotes så håller BrB 5 kap. 1 § förhållandevis bra även i det teknikbaserade samhälle vi lever i idag. De stora utmaningarna med internetrelaterad kränkning ligger istället i att skapa en enhetlig tolkning av vilka uppgifter som är att anse som nedsättande samt försöka skapa en möjlighet för personer att väcka åtal utan att de riskerar alla sina besparingar. Jag anser även att en påföljd där målsägaren kan tvinga bort informationen från internet bör utredas. Om inte detta sker riskerar vi nämligen att översvämmas med kränkningar på internet som ingen vågar eller vill göra något åt och i förlängningen urholka förtalsparagrafens syfte. (Less)
Abstract
The focus of this essay is defamation on the Internet. The Internet has had a huge impact on all of our lives. It made it possible for anyone to communicate with an endless amount of people all over the world but at the same time it made defamation law a lot more complex, new challenges and situations have emerged. I choose this subject because I wanted to look closer at some of them and especially the ones connected to the blogphenomenon and problems emerging out of that the everyday person have a forum for expressing their thoughts and feelings to a worldwide audience. Because it’s still a new legislative area there isn’t a lot of literature or case law available, therefore ive used what’s available and tried to find principles that can... (More)
The focus of this essay is defamation on the Internet. The Internet has had a huge impact on all of our lives. It made it possible for anyone to communicate with an endless amount of people all over the world but at the same time it made defamation law a lot more complex, new challenges and situations have emerged. I choose this subject because I wanted to look closer at some of them and especially the ones connected to the blogphenomenon and problems emerging out of that the everyday person have a forum for expressing their thoughts and feelings to a worldwide audience. Because it’s still a new legislative area there isn’t a lot of literature or case law available, therefore ive used what’s available and tried to find principles that can be transferred from ordinary defamation cases and apply this on blogs and defamation on the internet. I’ll try to answer questions referable to linking, intermediaries responsibility, sanctions and aliases.

A blog can, roughly, be said to have two different shapes, one that can be compared to a traditional news media where the blogger, more or less, has the same responsibility as a newspaper editor. The other is that the blog can be said to be a poster on a huge bulletin board. If it’s the latter the blogger has more in common with a moderator regarding the information they don’t post themselves. A moderator’s responsibility is significantly less then an editor.
Another thing a blogger has to think about is the Internet as a media. The Internet makes it possible to share information and thoughts globally in an instant to everyone with an Internet connection. With this possibility comes great responsibility. What’s actionable defamation in one country, jurisdiction, may be completely lawful in another. Because of these differences its important for everyone sharing information on the Internet to know a little about international jurisdiction. Because this is a Swedish essay my focus have been the Swedish jurisdiction, the Brussels regulation and the Lugano conventions. The Brussels regulation and the Lugano convention has recently been applied analogy on non-contracting states.

Because I’ve focused on the connection between blogs and defamation I wont discuss the definition of defamatory meaning in this essay and instead focus on publication and who is regarded as identified by the material.

According to the Swedish penal code the defamatory publication is actionable only if it’s about a person. This person has to be the same person as the plaintiff. For that reason it’s important to know how the courts decides if the material is “of and concerning” the person in question. The Swedish courts have a very wide acceptance and the plaintiff only have to show that there’s been a risk of him or her being identified by the material. There has even been a case where Swedish courts have used only parts of the information made available and argued that even if the picture wasn’t
proven to be of the plaintiff other information attached to the picture was enough for a verdict.

Publishing defamatory material can be done in several ways. I’ve chosen to discuss publications from an Internet perspective and therefore focused on linking and other ways of spreading information, that someone else already published, to a potentially bigger crowd. According to Swedish defamation law it’s enough that a person republish the defamatory material to be held responsible. There are still defences that apply but the person is, more or less, treated as the original publisher. Although there hasn’t been any reported cases regarding linking in Sweden it would, according to me, still be regarded as a case where the person linking is republishing the defamatory material if the linking party knows that the link contains defamatory material. The problem with linking is that there are different forms of linking and some of them brings the person using the link to a certain article or photo that the linking party has reviewed and others to the “home” of a certain homepage and therefore only displays the webpage as the original author intended.
Intermediaries and their responsibility is another thing that I’ve discussed in this chapter because of their involvement in making the defamatory material available to other Internet users and in one way might be considered publishers. Since 2002 they have their own legislation in accordance with the Directive 2000/31/EC. The legislation has focused on the circumstances insight and control. This means that mere conduits and catching functions are free from responsibility but content hosts might be liable depending their involvement. Because of the similarity between content hosts and a blog regarding the interactive function to post comments by its readers there should be some coherence between the bloggers and the hosts responsibility for the removal of already published information. The same responsibility also exists in the Bulletin Boards System legislation.

Recently the Internet has started to become a forum for revenge. Nude pictures and sex tapes are a common way to defame a former partner. As a result of this I’ve looked into the different sanctions available. At first it seems like the sanctions serves it’s purpose but a closer look reveals huge flaws. The legal sanctions aren’t recognizing the victim and his or her situation. It primarily focuses on the criminal act and not the victims fight to remove the defamatory material. This problem is huge when it comes to Internet defamation because it’s not always easy or possible for the victim to remove the defamatory material without help from a service provider or the defendant.

The conclusion of my work is that the Swedish defamation law is, opposite to my hypothesis, compatible with defamation on the Internet. The way of identifying the defamed person and who is regarded as the publisher of the defamatory material is still the same as it always been. The challenges that lies ahead is instead to create a uniform interpretation of what is to be considered defamatory meaning and try to create a way for defamed people to prosecute without the risk of loosing all their savings. I also find it necessary to evaluate if the defamed person should have the right to remove the defamatory material by force, after a verdict of guilt, something that isn’t possible today. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Viktorsson, Marcus LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
1628281
date added to LUP
2010-07-16 12:17:23
date last changed
2010-07-16 12:17:23
@misc{1628281,
  abstract     = {The focus of this essay is defamation on the Internet. The Internet has had a huge impact on all of our lives. It made it possible for anyone to communicate with an endless amount of people all over the world but at the same time it made defamation law a lot more complex, new challenges and situations have emerged. I choose this subject because I wanted to look closer at some of them and especially the ones connected to the blogphenomenon and problems emerging out of that the everyday person have a forum for expressing their thoughts and feelings to a worldwide audience. Because it’s still a new legislative area there isn’t a lot of literature or case law available, therefore ive used what’s available and tried to find principles that can be transferred from ordinary defamation cases and apply this on blogs and defamation on the internet. I’ll try to answer questions referable to linking, intermediaries responsibility, sanctions and aliases.

A blog can, roughly, be said to have two different shapes, one that can be compared to a traditional news media where the blogger, more or less, has the same responsibility as a newspaper editor. The other is that the blog can be said to be a poster on a huge bulletin board. If it’s the latter the blogger has more in common with a moderator regarding the information they don’t post themselves. A moderator’s responsibility is significantly less then an editor.
Another thing a blogger has to think about is the Internet as a media. The Internet makes it possible to share information and thoughts globally in an instant to everyone with an Internet connection. With this possibility comes great responsibility. What’s actionable defamation in one country, jurisdiction, may be completely lawful in another. Because of these differences its important for everyone sharing information on the Internet to know a little about international jurisdiction. Because this is a Swedish essay my focus have been the Swedish jurisdiction, the Brussels regulation and the Lugano conventions. The Brussels regulation and the Lugano convention has recently been applied analogy on non-contracting states.

Because I’ve focused on the connection between blogs and defamation I wont discuss the definition of defamatory meaning in this essay and instead focus on publication and who is regarded as identified by the material. 

According to the Swedish penal code the defamatory publication is actionable only if it’s about a person. This person has to be the same person as the plaintiff. For that reason it’s important to know how the courts decides if the material is “of and concerning” the person in question. The Swedish courts have a very wide acceptance and the plaintiff only have to show that there’s been a risk of him or her being identified by the material. There has even been a case where Swedish courts have used only parts of the information made available and argued that even if the picture wasn’t
proven to be of the plaintiff other information attached to the picture was enough for a verdict.

Publishing defamatory material can be done in several ways. I’ve chosen to discuss publications from an Internet perspective and therefore focused on linking and other ways of spreading information, that someone else already published, to a potentially bigger crowd.  According to Swedish defamation law it’s enough that a person republish the defamatory material to be held responsible. There are still defences that apply but the person is, more or less, treated as the original publisher. Although there hasn’t been any reported cases regarding linking in Sweden it would, according to me, still be regarded as a case where the person linking is republishing the defamatory material if the linking party knows that the link contains defamatory material. The problem with linking is that there are different forms of linking and some of them brings the person using the link to a certain article or photo that the linking party has reviewed and others to the “home” of a certain homepage and therefore only displays the webpage as the original author intended.
Intermediaries and their responsibility is another thing that I’ve discussed in this chapter because of their involvement in making the defamatory material available to other Internet users and in one way might be considered publishers. Since 2002 they have their own legislation in accordance with the Directive 2000/31/EC. The legislation has focused on the circumstances insight and control. This means that mere conduits and catching functions are free from responsibility but content hosts might be liable depending their involvement. Because of the similarity between content hosts and a blog regarding the interactive function to post comments by its readers there should be some coherence between the bloggers and the hosts responsibility for the removal of already published information. The same responsibility also exists in the Bulletin Boards System legislation.

Recently the Internet has started to become a forum for revenge. Nude pictures and sex tapes are a common way to defame a former partner. As a result of this I’ve looked into the different sanctions available. At first it seems like the sanctions serves it’s purpose but a closer look reveals huge flaws. The legal sanctions aren’t recognizing the victim and his or her situation. It primarily focuses on the criminal act and not the victims fight to remove the defamatory material. This problem is huge when it comes to Internet defamation because it’s not always easy or possible for the victim to remove the defamatory material without help from a service provider or the defendant.

The conclusion of my work is that the Swedish defamation law is, opposite to my hypothesis, compatible with defamation on the Internet. The way of identifying the defamed person and who is regarded as the publisher of the defamatory material is still the same as it always been. The challenges that lies ahead is instead to create a uniform interpretation of what is to be considered defamatory meaning and try to create a way for defamed people to prosecute without the risk of loosing all their savings. I also find it necessary to evaluate if the defamed person should have the right to remove the defamatory material by force, after a verdict of guilt, something that isn’t possible today.},
  author       = {Viktorsson, Marcus},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hur förhåller sig förtal till internetrelaterad kommunikation såsom länkning, framing och bloggar?},
  year         = {2010},
}