Monday, December 2, 2013
David Rolph, University of Sydney, Faculty of Law, has published Defamation by Social Media at 117 Precedent 16 (2013). Here is the abstract.
Social media have transformed communications, allowing users to generate and disseminate content widely. This carries with it a heightened risk of defamation. Cases involving defamation by social media are starting to be decided by Australian and English courts. This article reviews recent decisions and examines the issues presented by defamation and social media, particularly the anonymity of users and the legal means to overcome it and the liability of internet intermediaries, such as internet service providers and search engines.
Criticism continues over the British media industry's proposed regulations, which are an answer to the government's proposals. This time it comes from David Yelland, a former Sun editor, who says that the industry's suggested replacement for the Press Complaints Commission skews too closely to the interests of the media itself. He suggests that adoption of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) without enough attention to the contents of the royal charter will lead to a "chaotic situation." In an interview with the BBC 4 program Today's Sarah Montague, he opined, rather colorfully, that journalists have been "rather like lions led by donkeys...very angry donkeys."
Update on the phone hacking trial here, from the Guardian. Latest revelations: hundreds of calls were made from News International through a "private wire line" to celebs' and royals' voicemails. Earlier update discussing private investigator Glenn Mulcaire's activities here.
A Stuttgart appeals court has found that an online reference service (here Wikipedia) may have no liability if persons contributing to it provide content that violates German law without the knowledge of the online service. However, if the online service does have knowledge of that violation and does nothing to comply with German law, including removing the content, it may open itself up to liability. Here's a link to the ruling in German. The site does provide a translation option; beware, however--the result is bumpy.
More here from PC World.