Redefining freedom of speech in the digital environment from an EU law perspective
by Philippe Jougleux
International Journal of Electronic Governance (IJEG), Vol. 11, No. 3/4, 2019

Abstract: This paper discusses the freedom of expression in the digital environment from an EU law perspective. The author proposes to apprehend it as an autonomous concept. In the first part, the general legal regulation of online freedom of expression is analysed, with reference to the three-part test and the specific case of hate speech. In the second part, the paper uses copyright law as a case study of how balancing of rights is applied by the courts, with reference to the mechanism of blocking orders. However, the author regrets the lack of reference to freedom of expression in the recent discussion about the qualification of hyperlinks as communication to the public. In the third part, three characteristics of online freedom of expression are addressed: the application between individuals (horizontal effect), the intermediaries' protection and the principle of neutrality.

Online publication date: Wed, 20-Nov-2019

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