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Court Decision

Glawischnig v. Facebook (referred to the CJEU)

In this case, the Austrian Supreme Court was faced with the issue to what extent is Facebook obligated to remove defamatory content posted by its users. It raises questions both about global removal and about proactive monitoring of user content. The plaintiff, Ms Glawischnig - former leader of the Green Party in Austria, requested that Facebook removes a post with her photo and a comment calling her among others a “lousy traitor”, a “corrupt boor” and her party a “fascist party”. The plaintiff also requested that Facebook removes comments with not exactly verbatim, but similar content. Facebook refused to comply with the request, claiming that as a host provider it is not obligated to remove the content, unless it has been informed of the infringing content and it's unlawfulness is apparent to a legal layman...
Court Decision

Oberster Gerichtshof, 6 Ob 133/13x

January 23, 2014 (later confirmed in 6 Ob 188/14m, December 15, 2014 and 6 Ob 145/14p, February 19, 2015)
(1) An Austrian politician sued the publisher of an online newspaper for disclosure of the names and email addresses of users who posted allegedly infringing comments in the discussion forum under a certain article about the politician. (2) The Court confirmed that the defendant was obliged to disclose the information about the users according to Section 18 (4) ECG. The plaintiff did not have to prove that the comments were infringing. He only had to show probable cause why the comments were infringing. Further the Court ruled that the protection of sources due to journalist confidentiality in Section 31 Mediengesetz (Media act) was not applicable.
Court Decision

Oberster Gerichtshof, 6 Ob 190/03i

(1) An Austrian Bishop claimed that an online newspaper article infringed his personality rights. He sued the newspaper publisher for injunctive relief. The defendant claimed that he is not a hosting provider and therefore cannot be sued for injunctive relief. (2) Due to the defendant's misconception about the interpretation of Section 16 ECG, the Court had to point out that Section 16 ECG does not establish the liability of hosting providers, but rather determines the conditions under which they are not liable for the actions of third parties. The Court also pointed out that hosting providers can be sued for injunctive relief (Section 19 ECG) regardless of Sections 13-17 ECG.

Federal Act governing certain legal aspects of electronic commercial and legal transactions (E-Commerce Act) [E-Commerce-Gesetz] (ECG)

The safe harbors for intermediaries of the E-Commerce Directive are incorporated into Austrian national law by the E-Commerce-Act (E-Commerce-Gesetz - ECG). Section V of this act deals with the exclusion of liability for mere access providers (Section 13), search engine services (Section 14), caching providers (Section 15), hosting providers (Section 16) and link providers (Section 17). See also IRIS 2002-3:12/22.
Court Decision

Oberster Gerichtshof, fpo.at II, 4 Ob 176/01p

In the second decision regarding the domain www.fpo.at, the Court decided that the domain name authority is obliged to block the domain when the infringement of someone’s right is apparent to a 'legal layman'.