Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Supreme Court of Canada rules links not sh*t Sherlock

It would have delighted lawyers, politicians and general scum everywhere had they ruled otherwise.

Hyperlinking to defamatory material on the internet does not constitute publishing the defamatory material itself, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday.

The ruling will alleviate fears that holding someone liable for how they use hyperlinks on websites, personal ones or others, could cast a chill on internet use.

Also at issue in the case was how someone can protect their reputation in the internet age when content is passed around with the quick click of a button.

The case was closely watched by civil liberty groups and media organizations because of its potential impact.

In its unanimous decision, the court upheld the arguments about a potential chilling effect.

"The internet cannot, in short, provide access to information without hyperlinks. Limiting their usefulness by subjecting them to the traditional publication rule would have the effect of seriously restricting the flow of information and, as a result, freedom of expression," the ruling said. "The potential 'chill' in how the internet functions could be devastating, since primary article authors would unlikely want to risk liability for linking to another article over whose changeable content they have no control. "

Read more here.

Links to the man who tried to sue the Internet:

Wayne Crookes.
Wayne Crookes Reportedly Sues Me Over My Blogroll.
I’m Being Sued by Wayne Crookes.
Wayne Crookes sues Google, Wikipedia.
The Curious Case of Wayne Crookes.

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