Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, October 22, 2007

Defamation and Anonymity in Cyberspace, UK Style

Two recent UK cases suggest that website owners may have to disgorge the names of anonymous individuals who post defamatory comments. In one case, John Finn, owner of a development company, had admitted to posting anonymous comments about a rival firm. He and his organization are now liable for thousands of pounds in legal fees, some payable immediately. In another, unhappy sports fans had made derogatory comments about the team owners and shareholders. The judge had determined that some comments could be understood as "abusive" or jokes, but some could "reasonably be understood to allege greed, selfishness, untrustworthiness and dishonest behaviour"--that is, they fell within the traditional categories of defamatory statements. Therefore, the website operator must reveal the posters' names since the plaintiffs' interests outweighed the posters' right to anonymity. Read more in a Guardian article here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2007/10/defamation-and-.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef00e54efc4dcf8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Defamation and Anonymity in Cyberspace, UK Style: