Online Libel Suits
t looks like the Supreme Court has ruled protection over online libel suits.
This means that if you post malicious or defaming information or write something of that nature about someone online that you can not be sued for it. Only the source of the defaming information can be at fault. For example, if someone in my comments posts something bad about George Bush I won’t get in trouble but the source could be tracked down and sued for defamation. Granted, that is an extreme case.
This move will help help to protect the freedom of speech online as well as ensure that companies like Amazon, AOL and Yahoo don’t get sued for libel for pointless things that they have no control over. It also protects blogger who reposts information that they received from a source or information they obtained by other means. They can’t directly be sued unless they are the direct source of the malicious information.
The decision was made in California Supreme Court and decided in the case of Rosenthal who was being sued for posting a piece to two newsgroups about a doctor and the defamation of his character through supposed health frauds. The lawsuit accuses Rosenthal of republishing the information after being warned it was untrue and defamatory. In reversing an appellate court’s decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides broad immunity from defamation lawsuits for people who publish information on the Internet that was gathered from another source.
Dustin Brewer is a web and graphic designer with a passionate interest
in everything that is technology. He currently is the webmaster and
editor for tech filter, a technology news web site, as well as a writer
for Gadgetell– a similar web site about technology news with a strong
focus on new gadgets.