Crookes v Newton - Hyperlinks and Liability

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It's been an exciting few years (relatively speaking) for defamation law in Canada: in 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision in WIC Radio Ltd. v. Simpson 2008 SCC 40, which modified the defence of fair comment and seemed to herald a new course in defamation jurisprudence, indicating a "re-balancing" of the interests of reputation and free expression; in 2009, we were treated to the Supreme Court's decision in Grant v. Torstar Corp. 2009 SCC 61, which entrenched the new "responsible communication on matters of public interest" defence, and further confirmed the Court's willingness (if not desire) to reassess defamation law. (For my my views on what WIC Radio and Grant signify with respect to the impact of technology on reputation, see my article "Chasing Reputation: The Argument for Differential Treatment of “Public Figures” in Canadian Defamation Law".)

Now, in 2011, the Supreme Court has released its decision in Crookes v. Newton 2011 SCC 47, which speaks to the issue of liability for defamation when hyperlinking to defamatory content and which, I think, rather radically extends the underlying impulses that the Court had already evidenced with respect to the importance of freedom of expression in WIC Radio and Grant.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Communications & Media Updates, Personal Injury Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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