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Defamation And The Internet

The law clearly shows that it is possible to defame an individual via the internet.  What is not so clear, is what can be done about it.

The following will provide a brief guide on defamation and the internet:-

It is relatively easy to “track” the particular computer which sent out a defamatory email, or was caused by a cracker to alter particulars of a website or newsgroup. A fragment of evidence is always left behind. It is, however, virtually impossible to prove who sat at the particular computer and typed in the defamatory material.

The internet is global, this means that publication occurs world wide.  Anyone and everyone may view defamatory material.

Because the internet is global there are issues of jurisdiction. This has implications relating to enforcement.

Even if it is possible to locate the particular person who caused the defamatory material, the law cannot always successfully be enforced. For example, if the case is decided on an ex parte basis in Australia with an American defendant.  Clearly American law on defamation differs from Australian law, therefore  how can the laws of Australia be enforced upon an American citizen who may have complied with his own domestic laws.

Hyperlinks allow users to “jump” from link to link, possibly without realising they have entered a new site. Thus hyperlinks blur the line where one publication ends and another begins.

The internet is anonymous. It is not always possible to find the author of defamatory material.  However, it seems that in cases where the author cannot be found, defamed persons look to hold intermediaries liable for hosting or carrying defamatory material

Finally, as this area of law is still developing and is an area involving international jurisdictional issues, it is highly plausable that you as a defamed person will not be as successful as the traditional defamation plaintiff.

Given the complexity of this evolving legal landscape and the international jurisdictional challenges it poses, the traditional path of a defamation plaintiff may not guarantee the same success in the realm of internet defamation. Navigating this intricate area of law requires expertise and a deep understanding of the legal intricacies surrounding the internet. For expert guidance and assistance in cases of internet defamation, it’s advisable to consult an experienced IP lawyer. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to help you navigate the complexities of online defamation and protect your rights effectively.

If you have any concerns or queries related to internet defamation, reach out to a dedicated IP lawyer from Rosendorff Lawyers for tailored advice and support.

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