Feeds

US law to neuter libel tourism

Render foreign beatdowns unenforceable

High performance access to file storage

The US House of Representatives has passed a law which will render libel rulings from the English courts unenforceable there. The bill has already been passed by the Senate and will go to US President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

US politicians, journalism representatives and free speech activists have long condemned libel law in England and Wales for being too severe and for being a restriction on free speech.

Since the advent of near-ubiquitous online publication of articles some people have picked the court with the most advantageous libel laws and chosen to sue there. They argue that the online publication allows them to pursue a case anywhere the piece has been read.

The law in England and Wales is seen as favourable to people seeking to protect their reputations, so English courts have won a reputation as a favourite for libel tourists.

"Libel tourism threatens to undermine free speech in the US because, with the rise of the Internet and foreign courts’ liberal exercise of personal jurisdiction over Americans, foreign defamation law that lacks the constitutionally mandated speech-protective features of US law can be applied to publications that are substantially or entirely distributed in the US," said Congressman Steve Cohen, who helped to write the law. "Our First Amendment rights are among the most fundamental principles laid out in the Constitution. It is vital we ensure that these rights are never undermined by foreign judgments."

The UK government has pledged to reform libel law in a bid to reduce libel tourism and give publishers and journalists better protection against libel suits.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.