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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Illegal content
Whose law?

 5:52 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

There is some content on my site that could be construed as encouraging illegal acts, nothing that we consider damaging to anyone but which is under international controls.

Does anyone know the legality of posting such material? ie. under whose law do we have to worry? The domain is registered in the uk.



 8:15 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know the legality of posting such material?

An attorney. Yours.


 9:44 am on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Does anyone know the legality of posting such material? ie. under whose law do we have to worry? The domain is registered in the uk.

I would worry most about the UK laws.

For example the age of consent in the UK is 16, it is 18 in the USA, but, that suit is for another day if you are a company in the UK and hosted in the UK!

The USA often assumes its laws are global......major mistake! So look at the laws in the country where you operate.

If you aren't sure you need to get a lawyer. If you get threatened by a dominating entity you probably should at least consult with a lawyer!

I don't like Lawyers generally, but, in cases of intimidation they have a role to play!

If your case is based upon International law....then here is some free advice, do as your local law says and ignore all those that come afer you!

I obey the laws of Country I live in, I really don't care about obeying the laws of other countries!


 4:36 pm on Nov 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm a big advocate of asking yourself first if it is right. Treat it first as a moral question. Then as a legal and liability question.

I've looked at the site I think you are talking about.

I don't know much about English free speach laws. I know it is different from the U.S. in many areas - for example, I know you have hate speach laws. England is more restrictive about writing about active court cases. (Neither is the issue here.)

But, still England is pretty strong on free speach rights.

I would be more concerned about liability than criminal law if I were you. What if a user took your implied advice, and got arrested, charged with a crime, and rotted in an unpleasant jail for many years? What if they feel that their relianace on your advice got them there? What if they did something that is even legal in England, but not legal in some other country?

At minimum, I think you need to see an attorney about a disclaimer for your site, need to look into the technology for enforcing the reading of a disclaimer, and discuss with your attorney the state of "shrink wrap license" (or, in this case, disclaimer) with your attorney. Finally, I'd talk to your attorney about incorporation, if you haven't already done so.

As well as think long and hard about how you would feel if this were to happen to one of your users.

I am not condeming you. I am a big advocate of people being informed. It seems to me you are only informing. But it also seems to me there is the potential for legal complications.

I have some similar issues with a site I am developing. Because it is a kind of social networking site, I will have similar issues. The site will containing information and ratings about establishments. I have to be concerned about establishment owners who feel they have been slighted.

I will not launch the site before seperately-incorporating the business.


 9:18 am on Dec 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

You have a good point, Jtara.

I personally feel that it's up to the individual to be responsible for the information you receive and that we're doing just about enough not to lead anyone into trouble but it is something we need to keep strongly in mind.

You're probably also right about getting at the very least a very adequate dislaimer sorted out.

As for jurisdiction - i live in about 5 countries a year.. money is currently received in america and the site is registered in tbe uk but all of those things can quickly change. Who, i wonder, would have the legal right to challenge material on the site?

Thanks for all the advice.

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