Decisions Roundup: No Defamation In Hyperlinking

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Decisions Roundup: No Defamation In Hyperlinking

Wed Oct 29, 2008 @ 12:49AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Lots of news on the defamation front. A Canada court has issued a "landmark" ruling that declares that a website can't be held liable for defamation by hyperlinking to someone else's defamatory content. The British Columbia court reasoned that the links are analogous to footnotes rather than constituting a "republication."

One possible exception. The court also said, "It is not my decision that hyperlinking can never make a person liable for the contents of the remote site. For example, if Mr. Newton had written 'the truth about Wayne Crookes is found here' and 'here' is hyperlinked to the specific defamatory words, this might lead to a different conclusion."

The decision can be found here.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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