[Foundation-l] Canadia Supreme Court Finds in Favour of Hyperlinker

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Thu Oct 20 10:08:53 UTC 2011

On 10/19/11 12:48 PM, Risker wrote:
> Today, the Canadian Supreme Court found that an online writer who used
> external hyperlinks could not be held liable for the contents of the
> hyperlinked materials:
> http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1072362--supreme-court-ruling-big-victory-for-internet-freedom?bn=1
>   Justice Rosalie Abella, who wrote the majority opinion, said,  “Only when a
> hyperlinker presents content from the hyperlinked material in a way that
> actually repeats the defamatory content, should that content be considered
> ‘published’ by the hyperlinker.”[1]
> It is reassuring to see the Canadian Court supporting this particular
> principle, one on which the Wikimedia projects are heavily dependent.  It
> does, however, identify a boundary (repeating defamatory content) that bears
> some watching.
For the full text see http://scc.lexum.org/en/2011/2011scc47/2011scc47.html

The case also deals with related points about the nature of defamation 
and what is meant by publishing. "This Court has recognized that what is 
at stake in an action for defamation is not only an individual’s 
interest in protecting his or her reputation, but also the public’s 
interest in protecting freedom of expression:"  This court seems to be 
getting the point.

This case was part of a series of related cases, so I would expect 
judgement on the others to come soon. I'm epecially curious about one 
defamation case where the plaintiff is in a province without anti-SLAPP 
legislation, and the defendant in one that does.


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