Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Some recent UK Internet jurisdiction cases...

"Online defamation: where a website hit packs a real punch"

http://www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk/POOLED/ARTICLES/
BF_NEWSART/VIEW.ASP?Q=BF_NEWSART_105552


"Libel - Abuse of Process - Jameel Vs Dow Jones Inc"

"... the case of Jameel v Dow Jones Inc brings an important restriction on the right of Claimants to sue in this jurisdiction (which is amongst the most Claimant-friendly regimes in the world for libel). Previously, as long as a Claimant could show publication to one person in this jurisdiction, he could bring an action for libel here. This created the difficult scenario for online publishers (e.g. any website owner) of facing claims in England brought by foreign individuals or companies in respect of publications which in reality had little to do with England. The Jameel case was a good example, a Saudi individual suing a US publisher in this jurisdiction on the basis that the website was accessible from England and that he (the Claimant) had some level of reputation here. It emerged in evidence that, in fact, only five people had accessed the website from England, including the Claimant himself and two of his legal advisors.

The Court of Appeal indicated that it will no longer allow this sort of claim. It held that the costs of the case would have been completely disproportionate to the benefit which the Claimant could have acheived and the action was therefore struck out as an abuse of process. The decision is of some comfort to website owners, but is unlikely to impact claims where the Claimant does have some genuine connection to this jurisdiction and can show that the defamatory words have been read by more than a minimal number of people."
From http://www.legalday.co.uk/
lexnex/eversheds/eversheds05/e80180205.htm

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