Harmful Digital Communications Bill

  • enacted

Liability of online content host

20 Liability of online content host for content posted by user

(1)

This section and section 20A apply to the liability of an online content host for the content of a digital communication posted by a person and hosted by the online content host.

(2)

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

(a)

the person who provides the specific content does so on behalf, or at the direction, of the online content host; or

(b)

the online content host

(i)

receives a notice of complaint about the specific content; and

(ii)

does not comply with subsections (3) and (4).

(3)

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; 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:

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).

(4)

A notice of complaint must

(a)

state the name and address for service of 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.

(5)

A counter-notice must state

(a)

the name and address for service of 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.

(6)

The protection conferred on an online content host by this section does not apply if the host does not provide an easily accessible mechanism that enables a user to contact the host about specific content as provided in this section.