« Bush and al-Maliki to Meet in Jordan | Main | Celebrating diversity in the workplace »

Court Ruling Protects Bloggers from Lawsuits

Freedom of speech, how sweet the sound.

Bloggers and website owners cannot be sued for posting libelous or defamatory comments written by third parties, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The court said only the original authors of comments published online can be sued.


Legal analysts say the 34-page decision, issued Monday, is significant because it brings California in line with other court rulings across the nation that have upheld the 1996 federal Communications Decency Act, which protects website owners from legal liability in libel or defamation lawsuits.

"Bloggers and website owners can all breathe a very big sigh of relief," says Gregory Herbert, an Orlando lawyer who specializes in First Amendment issues. "This decision adds more uniformity to the law and reduces the risk for liability for even individuals who are posting things onto website message boards and chat rooms."

Let's also not forget that, as Michelle Malkin knows all too well, it's all fun and games until you're the target of the defamation. She points out that this decision seems to have a very big loophole:

Strictly speaking, Barrett v. Rosenthal applies only to those who re-publish defamatory statements. It does not apply to the author of the original defamatory post. Anyone who wants to immunize himself from liability, however, can easily bypass that limitation by posting the original defamatory statement anonymously (for example, from a public library or Kinko's or by using an anonymizer such as Torpark) then re-publishing it under his or her own name. Those savvy enough to game the system in this way will be able to libel their enemies with impunity.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Court Ruling Protects Bloggers from Lawsuits:

» Conservative Outpost linked with Daily Summary

» rightlinx.com linked with Liable For Libel

Comments (8)

Leave it to Malkin to publi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Leave it to Malkin to publish a "how to get around the law and defame and libel with impunity" post so soon. Wow - she even posted a link as a resource for future libelists!

Any chance she was behind the push to publish bomb-making instructions on the Internet a month ago? She is a good American, yes indeed.

Well, looks like a few of t... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Well, looks like a few of the loons over at KOS and Hufff 'n Puff are off the hook...

Lee, Malkin was being defamed, not the other way around. As usual, the board twit reveals once again his seriously flawed congnitive disonance with resounding brilliance.

I understand Malkin claims ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I understand Malkin claims she was defamed, Gmac. That gives her license her to publicize a "how to" guide? Only in the illogical conservative mind. Maybe this kind of beahvior is why Malkin the mutt was a target to begin with.

Conservatives are such lousy "victims"... They act like three year olds.

Wait.. Lee's whining about ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Wait.. Lee's whining about something ? [feign shock]

Lee sputtered:


That gives her license her to publicize a "how to" guide?

No. The First Amendment to the Constitution gives her that 'license'. Only in the mind of looney Liberal like Lee would one need a 'license' to speak freely.

Queue the comparisons to NY... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Queue the comparisons to NYT stories on rendition and wire tapping in
6
5
4
3
2

I'm amazed at the double-st... (Below threshold)

I'm amazed at the double-standard of the left anymore. Lee thinks it's perfectly fine to say "Malkin the mutt" because of course it's not racist, but if somebody on a conservative blog had called a minority that, the libs would be up in arms.

Lee, I've never liked you, but now I can tack the word "hypocrite" to the list of terms I associate with your asinine self.

And I just love that "blame the victim" thing you've got going over Malkin, Lee.

Independent "Citizen Journa... (Below threshold)

Independent "Citizen Journalists" should have the right of Free Speech, as much as the organized band of "Pajamas Media" beats their drum of "free speech." The world is not always a "fair and balanced" place!

Leave it to Malkin to pu... (Below threshold)

Leave it to Malkin to publish a "how to get around the law and defame and libel with impunity" post so soon. Wow - she even posted a link as a resource for future libelists!

Any chance she was behind the push to publish bomb-making instructions on the Internet a month ago? She is a good American, yes indeed.

Lee,

I don't know you, but on the basis of that one comment, I'm easily able to determine that you're an idiot.

That's not at all what her post said, as anyone with the IQ of par golf can readily see.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy