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Blogging and Defamation

Maud Newton’s Interview with Lyrissa Lidsky about bloggers, defamation and the law:

It is true that at least one federal court has suggested that the Communications Decency Act, a federal statute, gives bloggers immunity from defamation liability if they simply act as a conduit in ?republishing? the defamatory statement of someone else. (Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018 (2003)). However, this decision was not really about bloggers; it dealt with the operator of an electronic newsletter who forwarded a defamatory email. In addition, this decision may or may not be followed by other courts. More significantly, the decision does not protect bloggers who republish a defamatory statement made by someone else in order to comment on the statement. A blogger who comments on someone else?s defamatory statement might very well be seen as ratifying it or amplifying it, and the blogger could then be liable for defamation.

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