Oriental Press Group Ltd. v. Fevaworks Solutions Ltd, HKCFA 47

Court of Final Appeals
Document type
Court Decision
Holding online intermediaries of discussion forums as secondary publishers with liabilities imposed from outset, who also have the duties to monitor and take active actions when noticed of defamatory activities on their platform. Defendants were administrators, providers and managers of a website that hosted one of most popular Internet discussion forums in Hong Kong, known as the Golden Forum. Plaintiffs were publishers of the Oriental Press Groups, one of the most popular local newspapers. Three entries were posted in the defendants’ forum accusing plaintiffs dealing with money laundering, drug trafficking and bribery, etc. Defendants removed two entries with due notice but the last one was removed eight months after being informed. Lower court held the forum for not having duly removed this entry without reasonable delay. Defamation Ordinance of Hong Kong does not cover ISPs liabilities issues, so the Court relied on common law secondary liabilities and found the forum liable for the alleged delay. The Court limited the OSPs’ liability as secondary or subordinate publisher in the way of its limited manpower to monitor and control the discussion, but it also argued that the defendants should promptly take all reasonable steps to remove the offending content from their platform as soon as it becomes reasonably practicable after notice.
Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Highest Domestic/National (including State) Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Monitor or Filter
Type of law
General effect on immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Knowledge (Includes Notice and Takedown)