Magazine article The Quill

Ruling May Redefine Internet Libel Law

Magazine article The Quill

Ruling May Redefine Internet Libel Law

Article excerpt

An Australian court refused to allow New York-based Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, to appeal a decision that a local businessman could sue the company for defamation in Australia over an article published in the United States and posted online.

According to MediaWeek, the Sept. 21 decision seals the landmark ruling, which analysts said could mean that publishers and Internet sites are potentially open to litigation in the 190 nations that allow defamation cases.

In August, the Supreme Court in Australia ruled that even though the article was written in the United States for a U.S. audience and posted on a U.S. Web site, it was technically published wherever it was accessed from the Internet. The court in the southeastern Australian state of Victoria ruled that businessman Joe Gutnick could sue Dow Jones under Australia's tough defamation laws. …

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