by Mike Masnick

Libel Ruling Provides Protection For Forums, Not Individual Bloggers

from the calm-down,-people dept

A couple weeks back, we had an article about a legal ruling saying that someone who passed on a (potentially libelous) message to a mailing list was not responsible for its content, similar to how an ISP was not responsible for the content a 3rd party posted in their forums. A few days after this, I noticed a whole series of news articles twisting this ruling into somehow believing that it meant bloggers weren't liable for libel on their sites. I ignored those articles because they seemed to stretch the actual intent of the ruling far beyond what it meant. Thanks to Mark Glaser for bringing the discussion back into focus by pointing out that this does not mean free reign for bloggers to libel people. More importantly, he points out that anyone who wants to have credibility and to be taken seriously would want to do their best to manage the content on their site anyway, and thus, this ruling should have little impact. All it really does is protect a site's owner from comments that visitors make.

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