Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015

24 Process for obtaining protection against liability for specific content

(1)

No civil or criminal proceedings may be brought against an online content host in respect of the content complained of (the specific content) if the online content host—

(a)

receives a notice of complaint about the specific content; and

(b)

complies with subsection (2).

(2)

The requirements of this subsection are that—

Host to notify author of complaint

(a)

the online content host must, as soon as practicable but no later than 48 hours after receiving a notice of complaint,—

(i)

provide the author of the specific content with a copy of the notice of complaint, altered to conceal personal information that identifies the complainant if the host has received confirmation that the complainant does not consent to the host providing that information to the author; and

(ii)

notify the author that the author may submit a counter-notice to the host within 48 hours after receiving that notification:

(b)

if the host is unable to contact the author (for example, because the identity of the author is unknown) after taking reasonable steps to do so, the host must take down or disable the specific content as soon as practicable after taking those steps but no later than 48 hours after receiving a notice of complaint:

Author’s counter-notice consenting to removal of content

(c)

if the author submits a valid counter-notice no later than 48 hours after receiving the host’s notification under paragraph (a) in which the author consents to the removal of the specific content, the host must take down or disable the specific content as soon as practicable after receiving that counter-notice:

Author’s counter-notice refusing consent to removal of content

(d)

if the author submits a valid counter-notice no later than 48 hours after receiving the host’s notification under paragraph (a) in which the author refuses to consent to the removal of the specific content, the host must leave the specific content in place and, as soon as practicable after receiving that counter-notice,—

(i)

notify the complainant of the author’s decision; and

(ii)

if the author consents, provide the complainant with personal information that identifies the author:

Author failing to submit valid counter-notice

(e)

if the author does not submit a valid counter-notice in accordance with this subsection (whether by failing to submit a counter-notice or by submitting an invalid counter-notice), the host must take down or disable the specific content as soon as practicable but no later than 48 hours after notifying the author under paragraph (a).

(3)

A notice of complaint must—

(a)

state the complainant’s name and a telephone number, a physical address, and an email address for the complainant; and

(b)

state the specific content, and explain why the complainant considers that the specific content—

(i)

is unlawful; or

(ii)

breaches 1 or more communication principles and has caused harm; and

(c)

sufficiently enable the specific content to be readily located; and

(d)

state whether the complainant consents to personal information that identifies the complainant being released to the author; and

(e)

contain any other information that the complainant considers relevant.

(4)

A counter-notice must state—

(a)

the author’s name and a telephone phone number, a physical address, and an email address for the author; and

(b)

whether the author consents to personal information that identifies the author being released to the complainant; and

(c)

whether the author consents to the removal of the specific content.

(5)

An online content host must not disclose any personal information about the complainant or author under privacy principle 11(e)(iv) in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993, except by order of a District Court Judge or a High Court Judge made on an application under this subsection.

(6)

Nothing in subsection (5) affects the application of any other provision in the Privacy Act 1993.

(7)

This section is subject to section 25(5).