WILMAP: Georgia


LEGISLATION

The Constitution of Georgia, August 24, 1995
 
[Providing that “everyone has the right to freely receive and impart information, to express and impart his/her opinion orally, in writing or by in any other means. [ . . . ] Mass media shall be free. [ . . . ] censorship shall not be permitted” (art 24).]
 
Law on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Influence, September 28, 2011
 
[There is no law that specifically govern the internet, regulates online censorship or bans inappropriate content, such as pornography or violent material. The Law of Georgia on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Influence addresses gambling and violence, but it does not refer to online activities. Nevertheless, all legal regulations (especially copyright or criminal law) apply directly to internet activities].
 
Law No. 1514 on Electronic Communications, June 6, 2005 
 
[(1) To ensure that regulatory decisions of the Commission are taken in an open, non-discriminatory, transparent and technologically neutral way, this law provides the principles for pursuing activities in the field of electronic communications. 
 
(2) The Commission shall control the fulfillment of license conditions by the license holders using radio frequency spectrum and/or numbering resource. (28.12.2005 N 2564). Liability for the breach of requirements and obligations shall be incurred by natural persons and legal entities pursuant to Georgian legislation. (28.12.2005 N 2564). Pursuit of activities in the electronic communications sector without authorization, the use of radio spectrum and/or numbering resources without a license for the use of resources shall be deemed an illegal economic activity, prohibited and punishable pursuant to the Criminal Law. The use of radio spectrum and/or numbering resources without a license or assignment is prohibited and punishable pursuant to the Administrative Code of Georgia. (28.12.2005 N 2564) (art 43). 
 
(3) An authorized undertaking with significant market power shall ensure transparency of information in relation to access and interconnection to the relevant elements of its network as well as publicize information (art 31). 
 
(4) Providers of electronic communications services shall provide services to subscribers in compliance with set standards and pursuant to a relevant contract to comprise: (a)  the name and address of the electronic communications service provider;  (b)  terms indicating types, quality and time of first connection; (c)  terms for the suspension and termination of services; (d) terms for repairing damages; (e)  detailed information on tariffs, and, in case of changes, updated information; (f) validity, termination and extension of terms of the contract; (g)  the compensation mechanism provided to ensure quality of services as well as failure to maintain quality; and (h)  the procedure of appeals and regulation of disputes related to services (art 6.4).
 
(5) Electronic communications service providers (ECSPs) shall make available telephone numbers of directory services to their subscribers free of charge, including billing information, information on arrears and relevant bills. And ECSPs shall make available telephone numbers of special services to their subscribers free of charge (art 62.6/7).  
 
(6) ECSPs shall establish an efficient internal mechanism for consideration of and reacting to complaints. Where providers of electronic communications services breach legislative provisions on the protection of rights of users, an interested party shall be entitled to apply to the provider of electronic communications services, and/or the Commission, or directly to court. ECSPs shall consider a complaint within 10 (ten) working days (art 63.2/3)].
 
Law on Freedom of Speech and Expression, June 24, 2004
 
[(1) Granting “Freedom of speech and expression” (art 3), “Protection of confidential information and sources (art 11)” and “Liability for disclosure of a secret” (art 12).
 
(2) Any restriction of a right guaranteed and protected by this law shall be legitimate only if it is introduced by a clear and foreseeable, narrowly tailored law, and the public interest served by the aim of the restriction exceeds the damage to freedom of expression caused by the restriction. Any restriction of a right guaranteed and protected by this law shall be: (a) directly intended at fulfillment of a legitimate aim; (b) critically necessary in a democratic society; (c) non-discriminatory; and (d) proportionate to the aim of the restriction (art 8).
 
(3) The content of any form of speech or expression may be regulated only in pursuit of the following aims: (a) restricting defamation; (b) restricting obscenity; (c) restricting incitement to violence or grave public disorder; (d) restricting incitement to commit an offence; (e) restricting threats; (f) protecting State, commercial, private or professional secrets; (g) the regulation of advertising, TV-shopping or sponsorship of media output; (h) regulating speech of military servicemen or administrative agencies and their officials, members or employees; (i) regulating the speech and expression of detained persons or persons whose liberty has been restricted pursuant to law; (j) regulating the speech and expression of persons with no or limited legal capacity (art 9).
 
(4) Enumerating the circumstances in which a statement shall not attract liability for defamation (art 5), the Law provides in Article 6 that: (i) in any dispute relating to allegedly defamatory matter published by a journalist in the media, the owner of the media outlet concerned shall be the sole respondent; (ii) statements relating to an unidentifiable group of persons or from which no single person can be identified shall never lead to court proceedings for defamation; (iii) the private non-property rights of a deceased person, the state or its administrative bodies do not enjoy any protection for the purpose of defamation proceedings; (iv) person who is not the author of a statement or whose role in disseminating a statement is limited to providing the technical capacity shall never be the respondent in defamation proceedings, unless he or she openly supports the statement; (v) during court proceedings relating to defamation, the court shall take steps to affect a settlement of the dispute between the parties; a court may postpone judicial proceedings in a case and set aside a period of time not exceeding one month in which a settlement should be attempted.
 
(5) The Law provides for responsibility for any defamation of a private (art 13) and public person (art 14) and compensation for it (art 17). Additionally, the Law provides that “If a person makes a correction or retraction within the term established by law but the correction or denial is not sufficient to compensate the damage caused to the claimant by publication of the defamatory statement, the court may impose compensation of actual and/or moral damages” (art 17)]. 
 
Law No. 11-12, Law of Georgia on Advertising, 1998 
 
[The advertising distributor shall be held responsible for the violation of the advertising legislation of Georgia in regards to the advertising time, place or media (art 19.3).]

BILLS AND LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

[There are currently no known new legislative proposals on the issue of intermediary liability. 

DECISIONS

[There are currently no known cases that have been brought before the courts on the issue of intermediary liability.] 

CONTRIBUTORS

Faig Alizada
Email: faig.alizada at gmail.com

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