Defamation Internet

Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement... more +
Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement was communicated or published to a third party 3) the defendant caused the statement to be communicated or published, either intentionally or at least negligently 4) some harm was suffered as a result. less -
News & Analysis as of

Website Operator Not Liable for UGC; Also, Sun Rises in the East

Last month, the Sixth Circuit ruled that website operators are not liable for content provided by others (User Generated Content or UGC) because of Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act in the Jones v....more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

Message Board Post Highly Critical of Company is Opinion and Thus Not Defamatory

An essential defense to a defamation claim is "pure opinion." In other words, if the defendant can show that the statements alleged to be defamatory are opinions protected under the relevant free speech laws, the defamation...more

Protecting High Profile Reputations - Brownstein's $19 Million Verdict Stands After Appeal

In the modern age of the Internet where “news”—whether or not it’s true—spreads worldwide in an instant, high-profile corporate and individual reputations are under attack every day from business adversaries, disgruntled...more

Virginia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Yelp Users Defamation Case

Yelp.com (Yelp) labels itself an "online urban guide." Specifically, the website allows users to write reviews about experiences at businesses they've visited. It also permits users to browse the posted reviews. The...more

Communications Decency Act Forecloses Liability For “Amplifying,” “Endorsing” and “Adopting” Defamatory Statements With Hyperlink

Two weeks ago, in Vazquez v. Buhl, the Appeals Court of Connecticut affirmed dismissal of a defamation claim against CNBC for hyperlinking to an online report by journalist Teri Buhl. The Court held that, although CNBC...more

Freedom of Speech on the Internet: The Power of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Experienced First Amendment lawyers know that websites hosting user-created content are extremely difficult to sue for defamation. This is due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, codified at 47 U.S.C. §...more

Ferreting Out the Frauds: a Virginia Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Users

Social media is widely used in the hospitality industry for everything from promoting sales to recruiting new talent. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and a number of other sites provide hoteliers and restaurateurs...more

Yelp Denied Attempt to Keep Its Online Reviewers’ Identities Anonymous

In 2012, a local rug cleaning company in Virginia, Hadeed Oriental Rug Cleaning (“Hadeed”), filed a defamation action against the authors of seven critical reviews it received on Yelp, indicating that the reviews falsely...more

A Tough Assignment: The Use of Copyright Law to Squelch, and Preserve, Negative Online Reviews of Doctors and Lawyers

There are few things more terrifying to a doctor, lawyer or other professional than a bad online review. Online reviews are frequently uncivil, often indelible and in some cases outright false. Meanwhile, Section 230 of the...more

Hyperlinking within an Online Article could Immunize the Speaker against a Defamation Claim

For even the most novice internet user, hyperlinks are undoubtedly helpful to the browsing experience. Hyperlinks assist users in navigating through the vast amounts of undesirable content on the web by providing a reference...more

European Court confirms that an Estonian Internet news portal is responsible for defamatory comments posted by readers

In the case of Delfi AS v Estonia, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld an Estonian domestic court decision to hold Delfi, one of the largest Estonian internet news portals, liable for defamatory comments posted...more

TheDirty.com Goes to Trial

In 2012, we reported on a pair of district court decisions that, based on similar facts, split on whether defendant TheDirty.com, a gossip website, qualified for immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act...more

2013 Texas Leg Watch: Retracting The Defamation And Notification After A Data Breach

While the second special session is winding down (thank goodness), we will take a look at a couple more new laws impacting online media and technology in Texas. ...more

Gatekeepers And Online Defamation

The scourge of online defamation poses enforcement challenges for victims. So much so that there may be a temptation to begin looking for gatekeepers. The direction of the law appears to be ready to assist....more

Word of Mouth Marketing: The Bad, and the Ugly

The ‘wild west’ nature of the Internet is creating a tough environment for businesses relying on word of mouth marketing (WOMM). While this is a challenge that generally impacts consumer product companies, recent findings...more

UK Court of Appeal Holds That, Upon Notice, Google May Be Liable For Defamatory User-Generated Content on Blogging Platform...

In a unanimous ruling issued on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, the England and Wales Court of Appeal held that Google may be deemed a “publisher” of (and held liable for) defamatory user-generated content appearing in blogs hosted...more

Most Popular Posts Of 2012

Yes, it’s the lazy way to do a post during the week before Christmas and New Year. In my next post, we will use this information to help predict the trends of legal issues for online media, marketing, internet law and...more

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