Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Free Speech On Internet Upheld In California

Stephen Barrett v Ilena Rosenthal, S122953, California Supreme Court, San Francisco.

The California Supreme Court said Internet publishers can't be held liable if they post defamatory comments written by others, a victory for online companies like Google Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s America Online Inc.

The court, in a unanimous decision, said those claiming defamation can only sue the original source of the allegedly offending comments, not publishers or distributors, even if the distributor is an individual. Internet users are protected by the same 1996 Communications Decency Act that grants immunity against defamation claims to publishers in most circumstances, the court said, overturning a San Francisco appeals court.

A victory for bloggers.

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