The media are the watchdog of society. They give us the opportunity to be critical of decisions made by those in power. It is therefore very important for journalists to be able to exercise their freedom of expression freely. They must have sufficient safeguards to be able to express their opposition, also in the relatively free Netherlands and Europe.
The rise of social media and blogs has changed the journalistic landscape. Bloggers, vloggers and influencers have an increasing influence and often fulfil a role similar to that of traditional media. The national and international judiciary is moving along steadily with this social development and this leaves room for interpretation.
The journalistic profession also faces many legal challenges. Secrecy of journalistic sources is not always respected. And journalists do not always respect the right to privacy, portrait rights or the reputation of companies or well-known and lesser-known people. There is also a chance that companies, NGOs and political or public organisations cross borders when advertising or conducting campaigns. This regularly leads to disputes and proceedings.
The Netherlands Press Council has adopted a guideline. This guideline provides tools to determine whether journalism is meticulous. Everyone involved in journalism is invited to adhere to the Guideline. But this is not regulated by law and the Guideline is not uncontroversial. That offers opportunities.
In the meantime, online platforms and other Internet intermediaries are being called upon more and more often and more intensively to combat infringements on the Internet. This concerns fake news or terrorist statements, for example. If they do not do enough, they can be held liable themselves. This is not always justified. In addition, blogs are also frequently sued for violating copyright, for example by linking to unlawful material.
Since its foundation, SOLV has conducted proceedings in the context of press law and reputation management. SOLV has contributed to the legal development of this niche with leading cases. We know both sides of the coin and represent publishers, vloggers, influencers, broadcasters as well as political organisations, companies, online platforms and natural persons. We litigate on freedom of expression, portrait rights, privacy and reputation management.