Case report: Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc.


In the recent years, blogging has become popular. There are blogs on a wide variety of topics including video game law (

Bloggers create their own websites or online forums, and often invite readers to add comments or replies to blog postings. Often, these postings include hyperlinks to other websites. To the extent that these hyperlinks connect to defamatory material, can the creator of the hyperlink be held liable for defamation? This was the issue that was addressed in the case of Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc.

The action in defamation was dismissed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on the basis that the creation of a hyperlink does not constitute as publication of the contents of the linked site. Publication is an essential element to the tort of defamation, so the lawsuit could not succeed.

By Chris Bennett, Davis LLP,

Originally published in the E-Commerce Law Reports, December 15, 2008

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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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