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Amend the 2000 eCommerce Law

Looking back at the lawsuits I had to go thru in the past, I feel that there is a need to amend the 2000 Philippine eCommerce Law (RA 8792).

My case was that of libel on the internet and it cannot be denied that the nature of my involvement in that case strikes worry and concern among fellow online publishers and web hosting providers alike.

My legal counsel, Atty. Fred Pamaos, discusses the case in detail in his 6-part series entitled “Anatomy of an Internet Libel Case” — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 (unpublished).


 




Despite the fact that the case against me was already dismissed, there is still a looming concern that a similar one could be lodged anytime considering that fact that we host thousands of websites, forums and blogs. It would be a nightmare to monitor all of them for potentially the same circumstances.

Likewise, personal blogs may also be exposed to such harassment law suits and even how silly they may be (remember, anybody can post libelous statements in the blog comments), one can only imagine the total waste of time, effort, and money just to go thru these proceedings. Yes, they may not succeed nor see a day in court, the trouble of getting a legal counsel and making personal appearances in the fiscal’s office on a weekly basis can take its toll.

It is obvious that the eCommerce Law was passed in haste to address an urgent issue at that time but it has been seven (7) years hence and we need a stronger bill to protect internet service providers, web hosts, bloggers, forum owners, webmasters and internet users in general.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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6 Responses

  1. Jazzy says:

    I also wonder if those who initiate and passed the law have a solid grasp of the meaning “ecommerce”.

    I don’t mean to disrespect anyone, but what’s the average age of our lawmakers when they passed it? 40? 50? Do they even know how to use a computer that time?

    It’s just a question. I respect our lawmakers.

  2. Nick says:

    We may want to lobby for this in Congress… I think a proper petition raised to the proper Congressman or Senator may have an overwhelming affect in pushing for changes in the law…

  3. hip2b2 says:

    does this particular case really have to do with ecommerce per se? or does it really have to do with the relationship between hosting providers and content publishers. who has the liability in this case?

    of course, the best way to protect yourself with the ecommerce law is to put a click-through agreement (EULA) in your site for the subscriber to agree with. this EULA should be worded in such a way that it removes all liability from the hosting provider.

  4. SELaplana says:

    when i bought a hosting solution last 2004 (with a different company) i was told to sign an agreement between me and the hosting company…. and one of the terms was about the content of my site, that i am the one liable for it not the hosting company.

  5. Robin Lim says:

    I do not know if an amendment of the E-Commerce law is what is needed. The E-Commerce law, as far a criminal matters are concerned, creates a new crime, that of “hacking and cracking” and provides for the admissibility of electronic evidence in cases.

    Maybe what you should lobby for is for an amendment to the old law on Libel in the revised Penal Code, and seek a revision on the liability of “publishers”.

  6. vin says:

    Hi!
    I just want to ask, do I need to register my website providing a webhosting service to a local business office? do i need a official receipt for that?

    Thanks!

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