No, California's Defamation Ruling Does Not Mean Bloggers Cannot Be Sued
from the ah,-misleading-headlines dept
Back in 2003, when a US Court of Appeals ruled that forwarding on an email written by someone else wasn’t defamation there were suddenly a bunch of news articles and blog posts that falsely concluded this meant that bloggers could say whatever they wanted and not get sued. That’s not what the ruling said at all. It had nothing to do with blogs at all, but clarified that (at least in the areas covered by that court), someone who forwarded or posted someone else’s words were likely to be protected from charges. That’s pretty similar to the ruling yesterday in California saying that posting someone else’s defamatory comments isn’t defamation. Once again, this didn’t actually involve blogs in any way, but far be it from the media to resist. MSNBC is trumpeting a headline saying “Calif. court says bloggers can’t be sued” which is wrong on way too many counts. Bloggers absolutely can be sued, and they can lose if they did actually defame or libel someone. What’s protected is if someone simply copies what someone else wrote that was defamatory, or if someone else says something defamatory in the comments or forums. Perhaps the California supreme court should sue MSNBC for defamation now.
Comments on “No, California's Defamation Ruling Does Not Mean Bloggers Cannot Be Sued”
“But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!” – Friedrich Nietzsche
considering that most “blogs” are just copy-paste jobs of other sites (and sometimes even other blogs) the posters think they are getting the same protection. They think that the ruling gives them a get out of jail free card in the event they post some seriously wrong and damaging info.
Im curious…do you really believe your statement that most blogs are copy/pastes of other blogs? I make comments on news stories on mine but have an equivalent amount of original “written-by-me” content as well. I read blogs a lot and think most are honest efforts.
Just a shameless plug
Just wanted to make sure everyone caught my hourly bit of shameless self promotion.
In case you didn’t notice yet, my web site is:
By the way, you’ll notice that surprisingly few of my claims show any kind of real understanding, that I’m mostly parroting Fox News and going on about “The Liberals this” and “The Liberals that” – in a failing attempt to bring credibility back to my side, the good, white, wealthy, male, Republican side.
So stop by my site (did I mention that it’s http://www.thatpoliticalblog.com?) and learn why I’m a closed-minded ass. Also see me copy-and-paste entire articles from other websites (copyright infringement!) so it looks like I write more.
Come visit my site. Self-promotion, one-sided views, and a brilliant approach to copy-and-paste await. You can also expect a high-handed (if poor) attempt at using the English language in an attempt to sound more clever than I am.
Re: Just a shameless plug
If you’re not who you’re saying you are (and I assume you’re not) you are certainly opening yourself up to a defamation suit, regardless of whether or not you’re in California.
Re: Re: Just a shameless plug
No biggie. Its just the internets. Ive been out here a long time and people seldom surprise me anymore. People pretending to be me or running their mouth, eh, so what. Lifes too short to worry about the small stuff.