Censorship law, European Union (Hungary): quotations & comments

Almost full text of

Quotations:

Act on the freedom of the press (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak ) and the fundamental rules on media content:

“TITLE I DEFINITION OF TERMS
Article 1 […] 6. Printed press materials: Individual issues of daily newspapers and other periodicals as well as on-line newspapers and news portals provided as a service for profit, for the content of which a natural or legal person or a business association without legal personality bears editorial responsibility, the primary objective of which is to distribute textual or image contents to the public for information, entertainment or training purposes in a printed form or via an electronic communications network.” –

i.e., blogs with ads are “printed press materials”.

“TITLE II SCOPE OF THE ACT
Article 2 (1) This Act shall apply to media services and printed press materials provided by a media content provider established in the Republic of Hungary.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a media content provider shall be deemed as established in the Republic of Hungary when it meets the following criteria: […]
c) when either the central seat of executive management or the place where editorial decisions are made is located in the territory of the Republic of Hungary, with the majority of the media content provider’s staff being employed in the territory of the Republic of Hungary”

“Article 3 […] (4) In case of violation of this Act, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority may proceed and apply sanctions in accordance with the provisions of the Media Act on official proceedings.” –

Only Fidesz nominees were elected to the Media Council, meaning that no places were left for the opposition or the Fidesz alliance (KDNP) party.

“TITLE III FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
Article 4 […] (3) The exercise of the freedom of the press may not […] violate public morals […].” –

i.e., sensibility of churches and of the majority.

“Article 5 (1) The Act may set official registration as a precondition for […] the publication of printed press materials.” –

e.g. blogs, see the definition above

“Article 6 – (3) In exceptionally justified cases, courts or authorities may – in the interest of protecting national security and public order or uncovering or preventing criminal acts – require the media service provider and any person employed by or engaged, in any other legal relationship intended for the performance of work, with the media content provider to reveal the identity of the informant.”

“TITLE VI OBLIGATIONS OF THE PRESS
Article 13 (1) All media content providers shall provide authentic, rapid and accurate information on local, national and EU affairs and on any event that bears relevance to the citizens of the Republic of Hungary and members of the Hungarian nation.
(2) Linear and on-demand media content providers engaged in news coverage operations shall provide comprehensive, factual, up-to-date, objective and balanced coverage on local, national and European issues that may be of interest for the general public and on any event bearing relevance to the citizens of the Republic of Hungary and members of the Hungarian nation.”

“Article 16
The media content provider shall respect the constitutional order of the Republic of Hungary […].” –

the ruling Fidesz party, based on its supermajority in Parliament, have radically limited the scope of constitutional supervision in the country, effectively suspending what was a constitutional democratic republic
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ac8db2a-f1af-11df-bb5a-00144feab49a.html , and de facto pushing national-corporatist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism values on us. Actually, they are creating a new constitution for Hungary, alone, based on de jure these values as well.

Should we respect a national-corporatist order, be it however constitutional?

“Article 17 […] (2) The media content may not offend […] against – whether expressedly or by implication – […] any majority as well as any church or religious groups.” – no comment.

Act on media services and mass media:

[No comment]:

“General Provisions
Article 41 […] (4) The Authority shall keep an administrative register of […]
i) online media products and news portals.”

“Article 187
(1) In case of repeated infringement, the Media Council and the Agency shall have the right to impose a fine on the senior officer of the infringing entity in an amount not exceeding HUF 2,000,000 [EUR 7,000], in line with the gravity, nature of the infringement and the circumstances of the particular case. […]

Cf. http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=GDP/capita+Hugary+/+GDP/capita+UK

(3) The Media Council and the Agency […] shall have the right to impose the following legal consequences: […]
b) it may impose a fine on the infringer in line with the following limits:
ba) in case of infringement by a JBE media service provider and the media service provider under the regulations on the limitation of media market concentration, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 200,000,000 [more than EUR 700,000]; […]
bc) in case of a newspaper of nationwide distribution, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 25,000,000 [EUR 90,000]; […]
bf) in case of an online media product, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 25,000,000 [EUR 90,000];
bg) in case of a broadcaster, the fine shall be an amount not exceeding HUF 5,000,000;
bh) in case of an intermediary service provider, the fine shall be of an amount not exceeding HUF 3,000,000 […]
d) it may suspend the exercise of the media service provision right for a specific period of time”

“Responsibility of the broadcasters and intermediary service providers for the broadcasting of media services and media products
Article 188
(1) The broadcaster and the intermediary service provider shall be responsible for the broadcasting of media services and media products in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2)-(4) and Article 189.
(2) The broadcaster may be obliged to suspend or terminate the broadcasting of media services in accordance with Article 189.
(3) The intermediary service provider may be obliged to suspend the broadcasting of media services and online media products in accordance with Article 189.
(4) The broadcaster shall not be responsible for the content of the programme of the media service provider resident in a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and European Convention on Transborder Television and in its supplementary Protocol signed in Strasbourg on 5 May 1989 and promulgated by Act 49 of 1998. The broadcaster, however, may be obliged to suspend the broadcasting of the media service under Article 189, taking into account of the provisions of Articles 176–180.

Article 189
(1) When the Media Council resorts to the legal consequence against the media service provider […] the broadcaster shall […] terminate the broadcasting of the media service covered in the resolution as defined in the request.
(2) When […] the […] the media service provider fails to fulfil the terms of the final and executable resolution specifying also legal consequences at the request of the Media Council or the Agency, the broadcaster […] shall suspend the broadcasting of the media service covered in the resolution as defined in the request. […]
(4) When — in case of an online media product — […] the publisher fails to fulfil the terms of the final and
executable resolution specifying also legal consequences at the request of the Media Council or the Agency, the broadcaster […] shall suspend the broadcasting of the media product covered in the resolution as defined in the request.
[…]
(6) When the broadcaster and/or the intermediary service provider fails to fulfil the provisions of the request defined in paragraph (1)–(4), the Media Council or the Agency shall institute ex officio administrative proceedings against the broadcaster or the intermediary service provider and shall have the right to apply the legal consequences defined in Article 187 (3) (bg) or (bh).”

INTERPRETATION
Section 203 […]
30. Intermediary service provider shall mean the service provider providing services in connection with the information society, which
a) is engaged in the transmission of the information supplied by the recipient of services through a telecommunications network or the provision access to the telecommunications network (mere conduit and network-access);
b) […] (caching);
c) is engaged in the storage of the information supplied by the recipient of the service (hosting);
d) […] (search services). […]

42. Media content shall mean any content offered in the course of media services and in media products. […]

60. Media product shall mean individual issues of dailies or other periodical papers, internet newspapers or news portals, which are offered as a business service, for the contents of which a natural or legal person, or a business entity with no legal personality has editorial responsibility, and the primary purpose of which is to convey contents consisting of text or images to the general public with the aim of providing information, pleasure or education, in a printed format or through any electronic telecommunications network. […]”

In Hungarian:

Cf.: http://www.ekint.org/ekint_files/File/hungarian%20ngos%20assessing%20the%20second%20wave%20of%20legislation.pdf