Libel online

Interesting story this one – a company Gentoo successfully wins £100,000 in libel damages after an internet site was set up to, it appears, harass and smear the company.

What’s quite interesting are the comments from Gentoo’s Chief Executive, Peter Walls, and his brief:

“There is no doubt that the internet can be a fantastic tool for good but we urgently need legal change to enable victims of internet abuse to have a quicker and more effective route to justice.”

***

“It is difficult to see how the government can legislate effectively in this area because technology moves faster than the courts and there are always new technical loopholes to exploit.

“But one option may be to develop the remit of the Press Complaints Commission, or develop a voluntary code of conduct so that at least reputable websites can distinguish themselves from the rogue ones by signing up to the code as a badge of credibility.”

This case is another example of our libel laws, regardless of what you think of them, needing to be updated to take in the internet, even if there is a growing amount of case law, although not all of it is consistent, especially in how alleged libels in print and online are dealt with.The first two comments also seem a bit muddled. Technology is moving quickly online but abuse and libel still remain abuse and libel. If you’re going to change the law you need to sit down dispassionately and see where the discrepancies lie between online and offline and if they need bringing into line with each other.

A code of conduct may help in the eyes of the law, but given how toothless the PCC are in enforcing offline complaints, it’s doubtful anybody would take any notice of them. Assuming its even within their jurisdiction. How on earth it would work with a libel on an anonymous blog, I’ve no idea. As for accuracy…

Yes quite.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Libel online”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




del.icio.us

Top Posts

RSS What I’m Twittering about

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
April 2008
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Throw letters together and send them to me

Yes, this is my name. And my email. Use it wisely or you're not getting a biscuit with your tea: garyllewellynandrews [at] gmail [dot] com

%d bloggers like this: