[IRPCoalition] Delfi v Estonia in European Court of Human Rights

Karmen Turk Karmen.Turk at torv.ee
Tue Jan 7 12:43:53 EET 2014

Hi all,

Happy New Year and welcome to new Co-Chair and Steering Committee members!

As many of you know, a chamber of the European Court of Human Rights recently held, in Delfi v. Estonia, that a website is strictly liable for defamatory content in any user-generated content posted by a third party.  This position will be familiar to you, because it is essentially the rule we endured in the United States prior to the passage of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  In the EU, the E-Commerce Directive moderates that result somewhat, permitting a site to avoid liability if it deletes potentially defamatory content upon notice.  But remarkably, the ECHR affirmed the views of the Estonian national courts that this rule applied to ISPs and not to websites who have solicited comments from readers -- in the Delfi case, the publication had actually taken the comment down on request, but was still found liable.  Needless to say, this is a decision that could inhibit free expression online, and will likely lead to media avoiding online comments in many countries.  (A detailed assessment of it can be found here<http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37287/en/european-court-strikes-serious-blow-to-free-speech-online>)

Peter Noorlander, (the chief executive of the Media Legal Defence Initiative in London), Gabrielle Guillemin (from Article 19), Dirk Voorhoof (recognized human rights scientist), are heading up an effort to encourage the Grand Chamber of the ECHR to review and reverse the Delfi decision.  They have drafted the attached letter for that purpose, and are encouraging media companies and associations to lend their support and name to the effort.  This is especially important since there were no judges dissenting from the judgment.

There is no cost associated with this request.  If you would like to be included, there is two possibilities:

-          Just let me know by Wednesday evening and I shall add you (or your organization) to the list of supporters;

-          Or you can send the letter yourself to ECHR. The letter is available under Creative Commons license CC CA :)

PS: I do apologize for quite a short deadline :)

Kind Regards,


Kind regards,

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Karmen Turk

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-----Original Message-----
From: irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] On Behalf Of Shawna Finnegan
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:17 AM
To: IRP at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org
Subject: Re: [IRPCoalition] IRP in 2014


Hash: SHA1

Hi all,

Happy new year, and welcome to the new co-Chair and Steering committee members!

Marianne, thanks for this email. Wolfgang's post is a fantastic orientation for the upcoming year.

I completely agree that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The fact that 80% of principles in recent declarations on IG are the same, according to Wolfgang, suggests that we are very much on the right track. Continuing down that track, I think prioritizing one charter or declaration over others in developing a global set of principles might undermine the collaborative process.

While the IRP Charter is a robust starting point for a global multi-stakeholder principles on IG, it would be great to map the 80% overlap in recent principles (if Wolfgang has not already done so), and work with our networks and communities to articulate shared language based on that framework.

Looking forward to others' thoughts,


On 14-01-02 05:25 AM, Marianne Franklin wrote:

> Apologies for a double-mailing but should have sent the message below

> under a new message heading. On 02/01/2014 12:21, Marianne Franklin

> wrote:

>> Dear all


>> Happy 2014. Thank you Olivier for the positive vibes this early in

>> the year too.


>> As preparations for the Brazil Meeting in April gather steam, a main

>> agenda item and output is now clear; to produce a "global"

>> set of Internet Governance principles.


>> Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, who has been undertaking a survey of all

>> existing statements around IG Principles including those that include

>> human rights and principles, has provided one comprehensive review of

>> the year past and the year ahead in this respect (


>> http://www.circleid.com/posts/20131231_internet_governance_outlook_20

>> 14_good_news_bad_news_no_news/





At the end of this analysis, Wolfgang makes the following comment

>> about the leading role the UDHR played historically in setting the

>> frame for subsequent international human rights law: that it "would

>> be good to have a similar document for the Internet, supported not

>> only by the governments of the 193 UN member states but also by all

>> the non-governmental stakeholders from the private sector as Google

>> and Facebook, the technical community as ICANN and the IETF and civil

>> society as APC and Human Rights Watch."


>> Point taken but for the fact that the IRP Charter already exists in

>> this capacity. Its 21 clauses are explicitly - and elegantly

>> - embedded in the UDHR and these subsequent treaties. It was the

>> product of collaborative work, within the IGF setting to be sure, of

>> individuals and organizations all mentioned in this comment.

>> Government reps and IGO reps have been active as well in the Charter

>> work. Endorsements by a range of actors are currently being gathered

>> as the 2nd Edition of the Charter Booklet is ready to go public. We

>> also have several translations in process so here there is a

>> grassroots support level for the work.


>> But, Brazil is a so-called high level meeting and its outcomes will

>> be symbolic and perhaps groundbreaking from an inter-governmental

>> point of view (perhaps not but that remains to be seen). With more

>> and more support for a human-rights based approach to IG in the wake

>> of the Snowden revelations, it appears that we could be facing the

>> embedding of a disconnect between this shift in mood, one that

>> underscores the IRP Charter project after-the-fact, and the fact that

>> these calls since Snowden are already encapsulated by the IRP Charter

>> in its entirety.


>> Given this recognition that human rights online do matter

>> (underscored too by initiatives such as the 13 Principles by PI, EFF,

>> Access et al) do need protecting, what remains to be seen is whether

>> all those concerned with making Brazil a success and based on the

>> good parts of the IGF working model, the IRP Charter can be taken on

>> board in a more explicit capacity. By this I mean that it is the

>> document that is adopted and recognized in the fullest sense of the

>> term ("legally non-binding high level principles"). This is because

>> the IRP Charter remains the one document that already complies with

>> these calls; from within the IGF community and further abroad in the

>> UN, and technical community where high profile figures such as Tim

>> Berners-Lee are calling for a global Bill of Digital Rights.


>> It would be a shame, and a mistake to my mind, for us to not to make

>> use of the same sort of collaborative and creative energy within this

>> list alone, and links to wider networks to promote the Charter for

>> this role whilst supporting the Brazil Meeting aim to generate a

>> broad sort of global consensus. We do not need to re-reinvent the

>> wheel here.


>> What do people think? best MF



>> On 01/01/2014 18:39, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond wrote:

>>> Thanks for these excellent news!


>>> I am thrilled to see such talent leading the IRP. May it go from

>>> strength to strength! Best wishes to you all for 2014.


>>> Olivier


>>> On 24/12/2013 17:54, IRPCoalition wrote:

>>>> Dear all


>>>> The election/endorsement process for the IRP Coalition's Steering

>>>> Committee is over (37 people took part with 86.5% support, 5.4%

>>>> against, and 8.1% abstaining). Thank you for the positive comments

>>>> about all we have achieved this year and also for the constructive

>>>> suggestions for the year to come. The new SC met last week so this

>>>> email is to formally re-introduce everyone to you all.


>>>> First up, our incoming co-Chair who will be serving with Marianne

>>>> this year. Robert has worked with the IRP since 2008, seeing the

>>>> first charter through, setting up and then assisting with the

>>>> website and social media efforts, and also supporting IRP events at

>>>> the IGF meetings. After being on the steering committee for the

>>>> last few years, championing the IRP in all capacities, he is happy

>>>> to provide continuity and support as co-chair of the IRP. Robert is

>>>> excited about growing participation in the coalition, ramping up

>>>> dissemination of the Charter in different engaging formats

>>>> (socio-technical, educational), and exploring new ways of

>>>> integrating Human Rights in Internet Governance at all levels. This

>>>> work complements his teaching and research as an engaged academic.


>>>> Next here are the SC members for 2014 (bio notes will be up on the

>>>> website shortly):


>>>> Co-Chairs Marianne Franklin (New Zealand/UK) Robert Bodle

>>>> (USA)


>>>> Steering Committee Rafik Dammak (Tunisia/Japan) Catherine Easton

>>>> (UK) Dixie Hawtin (UK) Matthias Kettemann (Austria) Parminder Jeet

>>>> Singh (India) Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza

>>>> (Brazil) Vik Szabados (Hungary) Tapani Tarvainen (Finland)


>>>> We are all looking forward to a productive year for the protection

>>>> and enjoyment of human rights online - for everyone, everywhere.


>>>> Warm regards MF/RB and the whole SC


>>>> www.internetrightsandprinciples.org<http://www.internetrightsandprinciples.org>

>>>> http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/dynamiccoalitions/72-ibr

>>>> @netrights




>>>> _______________________________________________ IRP mailing list

>>>> IRP at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org<mailto:IRP at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org>

>>>> http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listin

>>>> fo/irp






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>>> http://lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinf

>>> o/irp





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