by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 29th 2008 1:31am
There's this odd belief among some bloggers that defamation and libel laws don't actually apply to bloggers. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Some of the confusion may stem from court rulings about comment liability, suggesting that a blogger is not liable for defamatory statements made by others in their comments. Unfortunately, many have taken this to mean that there is no liability for blogging defamatory statements. Others believe that since it's their personal blog, they can say what they want and there shouldn't be any liability, because it's not like a newspaper. While I tend to think the entire concept of defamation laws should be rethought in an era when everyone is a publisher, that doesn't change the fact that they do exist and they do apply to bloggers. At least, that's what one set of bloggers is finding out after a court refused to dismiss a defamation suit against them, when the bloggers insisted their statements weren't defamatory because they were just their opinions. But the claim was pretty seriously undermined by the fact that many of the potentially defamatory statements weren't just made as statements of fact, but were posted on a blog that exclaimed across the site: "OUR STORIES ARE TRUE." Oops.
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