Monday, October 8, 2007

Libel in the Internet Age

Thinking of writing a book on a controversial subject? I bet you had not thought that you might wind up being sued in England for libel. Consider this paragraph from Libel Without Borders which appeared in the New York Times:

The case is fanning widespread concern that English libel law is stifling writers far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. Today, any book bought online in England, even one published exclusively in another country, can ostensibly be subject to English libel law. As a result, publishers and booksellers are increasingly concerned about “libel tourism”: foreigners suing other foreigners in England or elsewhere, and using those judgments to intimidate authors in other countries, including the United States. Last year, the Association of American Publishers,, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and others filed an amicus brief in New York, arguing that such litigation “constitutes a clear threat to the ability of the U.S. press to vigorously investigate and publish news and information about the most crucial issues before the U.S. public.” ....
Then take a look at the rest of the essay.