In the previous post, we indicated that creating and running a blog may involve the obligation to register the blog in the register of dailies and magazines. In this entry, however, we would like to direct your attention to the fact that the failure to register may have some unpleasant consequences.
The Press Law Act provides for sanctions for not registering and – contrary to what one might think – those provisions are a not dead letter.
According to Article 45 of the Press Law Act publishing a daily or a magazine (and, as we have already stated, the blog may be considered a daily or a magazine) without registration is subject to a fine.
It is worth noting at the present time the Act does not provide for penal liability for failing to comply with the registration obligation. Until recently such failure was subject to a penal sanction in the form of a fine or restriction of freedom. What is interesting is the penalty was not merely an artificial paper entry, but was actually imposed by courts.
The Constitutional Tribunal has addressed the issue of penal liability provided for in Article 45 of the Press Law Act. In a judgment of December 14, 2011 (file no. SK 42/09), the Tribunal determined that:
the penal liability for the failure to comply with the registration obligation of a daily or a magazine is a disproportionate and excessive measure that is contrary to the freedom of press. In light of the facts of the case complained about, the Tribunal in its judgment has addressed only the traditional, “printed” press. It has, however, drawn the legislator’s attention to the urgent need to amend the Press Law Act due to it being inadequate in light of modern forms of press activity that are the result of, among others, technological progress.
For this reason, in July 2013, an amendment of the Press Law Act came into force according to which there are no penal sanctions as the result of not registering dailies or magazines, irrespective of their form.
Does this mean that we have nothing to fear if we “forget” to register our blog?
Not exactly. Although a community service penalty may not be imposed, the failure to register is considered, according to Article 45 of the Press Law, as an offense punished by a fine in the amount between 20 and 5,000 PLN.