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US internet libel law takes a battering

Distributing of libel now OK
Tue Nov 21 2006, 06:47
THE CALIFORNIA Supreme Court has decided that you cannot be held liable for posting libellous material written by someone else.

According to the LA Times, Justice Carol Corrigan admitted that the prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications.

However immunity "serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation", she said.

On one hand the law will protect those like San Diego resident Ilena Rosenthal who was sued for putting a defamatory article on her web site which was written by someone else.

But it also has implications in other areas. If a person wants to defame someone all they need to do is get someone else, preferably anonymous to do it for them.

It also gives Internet Service Providers and news group owners their first get out of jail free card. They can no longer be held responsible for defamation on their servers or news groups.

More here. µ


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