Defamation rule applied to Internet

Alan Bradley abradley1 at bigpond.com
Tue Dec 10 17:58:59 MST 2002


Defamation rule applied to Internet
Maria Moscaritolo
11dec02
THE High Court has thrown down the gauntlet to overseas publishers hiding
behind the US concept of "free speech" to defame Australians on the
Internet.

In an historic judgment, the court unanimously ruled defamatory material on
the Net was published, and could therefore be litigated, wherever it was
read.

While the decision has no status outside Australia, it means any company in
the world can be sued here for careless web publishing.

Law experts warned Internet publishers, especially US-based ones, would have
to re-think how they operated globally.

The judgment is a boon for Melbourne mining magnate Joseph Gutnick, who is
now clear to sue financial news wire Dow Jones for an article it published
about him in the Internet subscription magazine, Barron's Online.

< The remainder of the article can be found at:
http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,5653319%255E953,
00.html >


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