Yet Another Case About The Jurisdiction Over Internet Libel Charges
from the not-this-again... dept
This is a legal question that’s going to keep showing up: is a news publisher liable for libel laws in countries other than where they publish, if they publish on the web? A few years ago, an Australian court ruled yes, saying an Australian man could sue Dow Jones in Australia over a story they wrote and hosted in the US. Last month, a similar case got some attention, but this time, because the person who felt wrong lived in Saudi Arabia, but sued in the UK because they have stricter libel laws. This, of course, demonstrates the real problem with leaving this jurisdictional question open: people will jurisdiction shop to find one with more favorable laws. The latest case adds another twist. A former UN official accused of various “sexual and financial transgressions” is suing the Washington Post over their stories on the subject in Canada. A Canadian court has said this is okay. In his defense, he does live in Canada. However, he didn’t move there until three years after the article was published. Either way, these types of cases are going to become increasingly common, and certain locations will build up reputations for (a) allowing internet libel cases that originated elsewhere to be heard there and (b) for regularly siding with the individual making the accusations.