Right to Report Has ‘Expired’: Ortona Court Deleted News from 2008
PESCARA – The court of Ortona (Abruzzo, central Italy) imposed on the local online newspaper PrimaDaNoi.it to remove from its archive an article from 2008 and to pay € 17.000 for damages to a merchant, in accordance to the principle of the right to oblivion. The dealer, while admitting that the news was true and correct, had invoked the right to make it disappear from the web because it damaged his business.The article reported a true story happened in a club of Pescara which proved criminal behavior occurred. The court granted the applicants’ request ordering for the news to be cancelled, thus refusing the newspaper’s plea of acting in the public’s best interest by letting facts be known even after a long time. Consequently, the newspaper has suspended the update of information content to protest against the lack of legislation concerning the right to oblivion.The editors and the director, Mr. Alessandro Biancardi said that “this is a very serious matter which could force us to stop publishing.” The national professional organizations of journalists have followed suit and criticized the Court’s decision calling for a debate on the evolution of the concept of “past” in digital media and web archives.