19 Mar 2013

British bloggers may face libel fines under press regulation deal

British Bloggers could face high fines for libel under the new Leveson deal with exemplary damages imposed if they don't sign up to the new regulator, it was claimed on Tuesday. Kirsty Hughes, the chief executive of Index on Censorship, which campaigns for press freedom around the world, said it was a "sad day" for British democracy. "This will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on everyday people's web use," she said.

Censorship UK

She said she feared thousands of websites could fall under the definition of a "relevant publisher" according to the rules passed in the House of Commons on Monday night as part of the courts bill. Under the rules sites that generate news and are written by several authors could risk exemplary damages. Hughes said: "Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages, due to the fact that they were not part of a regulator that was not intended for them in the first place."

More on The Guardian - It is terrifying how quickly we've slid from a free press to politicians stitching up press regulation (The Telegraph) - British Censorship on Wikipedia