Exemption from liability.
The editors, editor-in-chief, journalist are not responsible for disseminating information that does not correspond to reality and discredits the honor and dignity of citizens and organizations, or infringes upon the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, or constitutes an abuse of freedom of the media and (or) the rights of a journalist:
1) if this information is present in mandatory messages;
2) if they are received from news agencies;
3) if they are contained in the response to a request for information or in the materials of the press services of state bodies, organizations, institutions, enterprises, bodies of public associations;
4) if they are literal reproduction of fragments of speeches of people’s deputies at congresses and sessions of Soviets of people’s deputies, delegates of congresses, conferences, plenary meetings of public associations, as well as official speeches of officials of state bodies, organizations and public associations;
5) if they are contained in copyright works that are broadcast without prior recording, or in texts that cannot be edited in accordance with this Law;
6) if they are literal reproduction of messages and materials or their fragments distributed by other mass media that can be established and held accountable for this violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation on mass media.
1. This article refers to the release from liability of the editorial staff, the chief editor and the journalist for the following offenses:
1) dissemination of information that is not true and discredits the honor and dignity of citizens and organizations;
2) dissemination of information infringing the rights and legitimate interests of citizens;
3) abuse of freedom of the media and (or) the rights of a journalist (for abuse of freedom of the media, see the commentary on Article 4, about abuse of the rights of a journalist, see the commentary to Article 51).
2. For the dissemination of information that is not true and discredits the honor and dignity of citizens and organizations, civil and criminal liability is established by law.
3. Issues related to civil liability are governed by art. 152 of the Civil Code. According to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, Art. 152 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, citizens have the right to demand in court a refutation of information discrediting their honor, dignity or business reputation, unless the person who disseminated such information proves that they are true. Thus, the editorial board is responsible for the first types of offenses, if it is a legal entity, and the journalist, if it is the author of the communication. The chief editor is not responsible.
4. For the dissemination of false information defaming the honor and dignity of another person and business reputation, criminal liability is provided if these actions contain elements of a crime. Responsibility of the journalist, if he is the author.
Dissemination of knowingly false information, discrediting the honor and dignity of another person and business reputation in the media, is considered a qualified part of the crime. The subjective side of the crime is expressed in direct intent, therefore, if information is spread, although it is false and discredits the honor, dignity and business reputation of a person, but there is no direct intent, criminal liability does not occur.
A particularly qualified corpus delicti is slander, combined with the accusation of a person for committing grave or especially grave crimes. The next type of crime related to the impairment of the honor and dignity of another person is insult. Insult, i.e. humiliation of the honor and dignity of another person, expressed in indecent form and contained in the media, is punishable by a fine of up to 200 minimum wages or in the amount of the salary or other income of the convicted person for a period of up to two months, or compulsory work for up to 180 hours, or correctional work for up to one year.
The subject of this crime can be both the editor-in-chief and the journalist.
5. For the infringement of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, both the editorial staff, if it is a legal entity, and the journalist and editor-in-chief may be responsible, depending on who is the person responsible for this type of offense under the current legislation.
6. The editors may also be responsible for the abuse of freedom of the media, if it is a legal entity, and editor-in-chief, and journalist.
7. Not only the journalist can be responsible for abusing the rights of a journalist, but also the editorial board, in particular, in case of dissemination of information discrediting a citizen on grounds of gender, age, race or nationality, etc., if the editorial board is a legal entity.
8. Article 57 of the Law on Mass Media exhaustively lists the cases when the editor-in-chief, the journalist and the editors are not responsible.