Wednesday, September 06, 2006

it's the end of the world (wide web) as we know it...

...well, not yet, but a case which threatens free speech on the net has been brought to the California Supreme Court:

The California Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in San Francisco Tuesday on whether someone who posts a defamatory comment by another person on the Internet can be sued for libel.

Two civil liberties groups say the court’s eventual ruling, due in three months, could have far-reaching implications for free speech on the Internet.

While the case before the court concerns individuals—a Canadian doctor seeking to sue a women’s health activist for posting a third person’s comment about him—the court’s ruling could also determine whether Internet service providers can be held liable when they knowingly allow defamatory remarks to be posted. (full article here

Yes, the freedom to post whatever we want may be at risk. Bloggers (and anyone who posts on a message board, leaves comments on webites, or has a myspace) beware, if this goes down, anyone who reposts a third party's defamatory statements can be sued for libel. Yup, reposting someone else's words is grounds for being sued. Good thing that's just a quote from a news report up there.


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