Feeds

Aussie Net libel writ extends to world+dog

Freedom of speech etc

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Australian entrepreneur, Joseph Gutnick, has won the right to have a defamation case against US online publisher Dow Jones heard in an Australian court.

Dow Jones lost an appeal after the High Court ruled that the news organisation was subject to Australian law because the article in question was downloaded in Australia.

Dow Jones had argued that any libel case should be heard in the US since that was where the article was published.

The decision is being studied by media organisations across the world amid concerns that it could set a precedent for other cases.

One UK industry insider told The Register that if this is start of a trend then online publishers might be forced to limit access to content on a country-by-country basis.

Not only could it damage freedom of speech it could also expose publishers to legal action all over the world.

Said another industry insider: "You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out the practicalities of being sued everywhere.

"This will mean that China will be able to sue someone in Australia for writing something critical about the Government's activities in Tibet," he said.

Speaking on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's The World Today programme Mr Gutnick said: "Well, they'll have to be very careful what they put on the net. We knew that previously but it'll certainly be re-established that the net is no different than a regular newspaper, that you have to be careful what you write.

"And if you offend somebody and, or write malicious statements about people, like was done in my case, then you can be subjected to being prosecuted," he said.

Dow Jones has said it will continue to defend the libel action. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.