Vol. 7 (2011)

Rethinking Online Intermediary Liability: In search of the 'Baby Bear' approach

Gavin Sutter

This paper examines various national approaches to the regulation of online content. Its particular focus is on the treatment and liability of the intermediary service provider in the context of data provided by third parties. It does this through a survey of the issues involved in the provision of unacceptable content, basing on this even its assessment of why the intermediary should have an appropriate role in the first place. It then moves on to how content can be regulated at this point. The argument this paper makes is that a case-specific approach offers probably the optimum solution; being not too liberal, absolving intermediaries of all responsibility while not being overtly stringent either, thereby overburdening the intermediary. This analysis is contextualised in an exposition on the value of the legal right to the freedom of expression.

Author

LL.B., LL.M. Lecturer in Media Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London.