Law Presentation

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Law Presentation

  1. 1. How to get away with libel on the internet.* *Please don’t libel people. It’s wrong & often illegal.
  2. 2. <ul><li>A false & defamatory statement </li></ul><ul><li>Published to third parties without privilege </li></ul><ul><li>Negligence </li></ul><ul><li>Presumed or actual damage </li></ul>So what is libel?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Schadenfreude </li></ul><ul><li>Mistake </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorance </li></ul><ul><li>Boredom </li></ul>Why libel?
  4. 4. <ul><li>Section 230 Communications Decency Act </li></ul><ul><li>Immunity for internet providers </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtures free expression </li></ul>On the internet
  5. 5. <ul><li>230 also protects those who repost libel </li></ul><ul><li>Authors liable – not distributors </li></ul><ul><li>Barrett v. Rosenthal </li></ul><ul><li>SCOTUS not happy – encourage legislative review </li></ul>Repost! Reposting libel on the web: it’s legal!
  6. 6. <ul><li>Satire, opinion, reviews, hyperbole & editorials are OK. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Vogel v. Felice </li></ul>Libel exceptions HYPERBOLE: It’s the best thing ever created. Ever .
  7. 7. <ul><li>Plaintiffs = public office candidates in California </li></ul><ul><li>Defendant = website operator with list of “Top Ten Dumb Asses” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plaintiff #1 = “dead beat dad” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plaintiff #2 = “bankrupt, drunk & chewin’ tobaccy” </li></ul></ul></ul>Vogel v. Felice
  8. 8. <ul><li>Decision = no liability for defamation when calling someone a “dumb ass.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A statement that [a person] is a ‘Dumb Ass,’ even the first among ‘Dumb Asses,’ communicates no factual proposition susceptible of proof or refutation.” </li></ul><ul><li>CONCLUSION: There is no way to quantify if some is in fact a “dumb ass.” </li></ul>Vogel v. Felice
  9. 9. <ul><li>It’s the truth if you believe it. </li></ul>What is the truth?
  10. 10. <ul><li>It’s the truth if you believe it. </li></ul>What is the truth?
  11. 11. <ul><li>Actual malice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of falsity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reckless disregard for truth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Burden on plaintiff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to prove </li></ul></ul>Famous people?
  12. 12. <ul><li>Stay away from: </li></ul>International issues THE BRITS THE AUSSIES THE KIWIS <ul><li>No 230 protection </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of limitation concerns </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Only 13% of defamation plaintiffs win </li></ul><ul><li>Only 25% say they are after $$$ </li></ul>Like to gamble?
  14. 14. <ul><li>More burden on plaintiff </li></ul><ul><li>Must demonstrate ‘legal merit’ </li></ul>Stay anonymous
  15. 15. <ul><li>JuicyCampus.com </li></ul><ul><li>“ Always Anonymous… Always Juicy…” </li></ul><ul><li>Campuses trying to ban site </li></ul>Internet resources When TMZ is just “too classy.”
  16. 17. <ul><li>Try not to libel </li></ul><ul><li>If you must, be careful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Insurance policies for bloggers, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay current on legislation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of privacy laws </li></ul></ul>In conclusion

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