Some people are of the opinion that if they put ‘I think’ somewhere, that what they say has become an opinion and therefore everything you say falls under freedom of expression. Sounds logical, you would say. But it does not work like that. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but that does not make it an absolute right. Other people also have (fundamental) rights, which can sometimes clash with this freedom of expression. Nobody has a veto right. You must take this into account when publishing content. Freedom of expression is a very important fundamental right. So important that it is not only in our own constitution, but also in the European Convention on Human Rights. That also means that we have good international case law on this. Such a fundamental right may only be limited in special circumstances. There are three criteria for this: The restriction must be provided for by law; The restriction must serve a legitimate purpose; and The restriction must be necessary in a democratic society. There are of course many other laws and regulations, such as the portrait right, the right to a private life, the right to honor and good name, and there are prohibition rights such as the prohibition of insult, defamation and defamation. Protecting someone else’s rights is of course a legitimate goal. Whether such a restriction is necessary in a democratic society depends primarily on proportionality: does the restriction not go too far? Reading tip : Portrait rights and privacy. What do they mean for your content? The right to freedom of expression is a very broad right. ‘ Offend, shock and disturb ‘ is allowed. So yes, content with an opinion may also come across as offensive or shocking. You can say things about people they don’t like. To a certain extent. Light-permeable bathing suit Catherine Keyl, you might know her from The 5-Hour Show or her talk show that was a bit like the Dutch version of Oprah Winfrey: Catherine. Catherine also sometimes goes on holiday and on a plane she was tempted to buy a light-permeable bathing suit and accompanying scarf. Everyone on the plane could see that and at least one of the passengers passed it on to gossip magazine Privé. Not with a photo of her, but a photo of the bathing suit. It was as if her name was used to promote the bathing suit, she thought. Catherine went to court. This was a violation of her honor and good name. The judge did not think so. It was a silly message and she had bought the bathing suit in public. Freedom of expression prevailed here over its right to honor and good name. Freedom of expression is in the Netherlands Weighing of interests Because the right to freedom of expression is not an absolute right, a balancing of interests must always be made. The fact that there are rights that can restrict the right to freedom of expression does not necessarily mean that those rights can then only limit the expression. They are, as it were, conflicting rights. It will have to be determined per situation which law in that specific case outweighs. The more important the news, the more you can say. The more important the news, the more you can say. Freedom of expression goes far in combination with freedom of the press and the gathering of information. The press as a ‘public watchdog’ can therefore go quite far. Gossip magazines and columnists are also allowed to publish a lot. The more intrusive the facts and the more something is brought as fact, the better you have to substantiate it. However, that does not mean that you suddenly no longer have to substantiate a clear personal opinion. The type of medium also plays a role. Something in the Telegraaf or broadcast during the NOS 8-hour news will have a greater impact on someone’s life than a small message in the local fool. De Telegraaf and the NOS must therefore be more careful and careful with what they want to publish. Related columnist A Metro columnist once wrote that she was assaulted by a stand-up comedian. On the way home he wanted to kiss her and forced her against a fence. She did not want that, but at that moment she could not have clearly said no. She explained her story in a column. She didn’t mention his name. From other facts and circumstances mentioned in that column, however, he could be traced. She threw his honor and good name with it. Also because others had written about this incident and sometimes mentioned his name. By the way, the columnist had not reported what she called an assault in her columns. The comedian therefore filed a lawsuit against the publication. He won. Because they were serious allegations that were not substantiated. She threw his honor and good name with it. Yet a few years later another column followed, about the same incident. Still without a declaration. That column was again considered unlawful by the court, because the allegations were still insufficiently substantiated. Therefore, an opinion must also be sufficiently substantiated, certainly if the accusations are serious. Who are journalists? You could almost think that only journalists can go so far as to express their opinion. And it is certainly true that journalists and the press have been given far-reaching powers in this regard. But now that we can publish articles ourselves, as I also write and publish this article or as we can publish articles on, for example, LinkedIn or extensively share an opinion on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, have we not become journalists too? Journalist is not a protected title. Journalist is a liberal profession. Everyone can call themselves that, it is not a protected title. The more you mainly inform, the more you get protection as a journalist and the further you may sometimes go. On the other hand, as a non-journalist you can do a lot again, if your opinion is not widely disseminated. After all, the impact is then not great, which means that the rights of others are also less harmed. There is no simple formula to determine what you can and cannot publish. Think of it as a scales with the right to freedom of expression on the one hand and the right of another on the other. Always put circumstances in it and see which law ultimately weighs the most. Reading tip : What about copyright on content? Freedom of expression in a cartoon Perhaps you are now mainly thinking of texts or portraits when it comes to freedom of expression against the right to honor and good name. But it is about all types of content. For example, think of video clips, podcasts, lyrics and therefore also cartoons. Ruben L. Oppenheimer and Theo Hiddema (lawyer and member of parliament for FvD) are not so similar. Hiddema is not so happy with the satirical, political cartoons of Oppenheimer. At some point that became a lawsuit, in which Oppenheimer Hiddema was not allowed to call a shady lawyer. It was precisely in the period that a book by Hiddema also appeared. The judge granted a rectification, but rejected some compensation. In the end Hiddema decided against rectification, but it was too good a chance for Oppenheimer to pass up. He made a cartoon by way of rectification. With its own text of course. A violation of honor and good name or a violation of portrait rights or the right to private life can be challenged under civil law. You can use this to prohibit publication and, for example, to request a rectification. Anyone who thinks that he / she can simply publish will of course not listen to a request quickly. There will have to be a court case to fight it out and enforce rights. A lawsuit costs money. You will receive your process costs, at most, partially reimbursed by the other party in the event of a profit. Compensation in the Netherlands is low. The infringement must therefore be very large or you must be very principled if you want to make something like that a legal case. Or you are just right in your weak laundry, that is of course also possible. Barbra Streisand effect You also have to watch out for the Barbra Streisand effect. Barbra Streisand had a house that almost nobody knew. But then Google Earth came. Her house could suddenly be seen from above. Now everyone would suddenly know which house belongs to her, she thought. She absolutely wanted to prevent that! The house had to get rid of Google Earth! The house had to get rid of Google Earth! It became a lawsuit. Of course, everyone had to know which house and which image the case was about. The house that nobody knew, not even after it appeared on Google Earth, was suddenly known to everyone because of that lawsuit. In short, litigation not to disclose something, can ensure that it becomes known. Even with a profit you are further away from home. Something to think about beforehand. Smudge and Slander When an ‘opinion’ really goes too far, there may be defamation or slander. Content with which you may bring a truth, but you deliberately spread it to affect someone’s honor and good name, and you therefore have the goal of publicizing that fact, then there is libel. This includes a prison sentence of a maximum of six months. The distribution of Patricia Paay’s plasma video was therefore disgraceful. Perhaps it was true what she had it do, but its distribution via GeenStijl, Twitter and via Whatsapp groups is a deliberate distribution, with the aim of giving publicity to the film and deliberately compromising its honor and reputation. Slander is actually the same as defamation, with the difference that in the case of slander it is not about a fact, but rather about a falsehood that is spread. There will be no prosecution without a declaration and complaint. Both are incidentally complaint crimes. Therefore, no prosecution and complaint will be prosecuted. Such prosecution must be specifically requested. In this way, defamation and slander are actually specific forms of insult. What we call a simple insult in criminal law is also not allowed. Moreover, it is not so much whether someone takes it offensive, but whether the objectively determined is offensive. After all, an opinion can also be ‘offending’. By saying ‘I like’, a statement is not suddenly allowed if it is offensive. Insult within the meaning of criminal law is about whether someone intended to insult another. Ant fucker Can you now scold a cop for an ant fucker? Is that an insult or not? According to the Supreme Court, that may depend on the circumstances of the case. A man who uttered the word in frustration, but did not necessarily mean insulting, was acquitted of insult. Are you allowed to scold a cop for an ant fucker? According to the Supreme Court, a boy whose scooter was checked on the roller belt and three times out loud, where a couple of his friends were with him, called ant antlers, was rightly fined. After all, the boy was supposed to have heard that bystanders heard that he was calling the policemen an ant-fucker, which made it offensive. By the way, few fines seem to be handed out for pancakes, smarties or bakers. Are you then not allowed to say anything at all? You can say a lot, because freedom of expression is an important fundamental right. What you say may even be ‘to offend, shock or disturb’. You must also be able to substantiate what you bring as a fact. The greater your reach and impact, the better you must look out for. You also need to be able to substantiate clear opinions and experiences. Either way, you cannot intentionally insult anyone. Order #contentrecht now on Royalty-free content? Work with ghostwriters from CopyRobin. Place a free test assignment Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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