Supreme Court to hear link libel case

Wayne Crookes appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada will be heard.

This is the P2PNet case, which Crookes is suing over hyperlinks to material he claims to be libelous.

The BC Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that hyperlinks, unless expressively recommended, are not to be seen to be disseminating libel, and are comparable to footnotes, which are viewed in law as references, not dissemination. Crookes has maintained the latter.

If hyperlinks are viewed to always be disseminating what lies beneath, then it will become very easy for libel claims to perpetuate across the Internet, creating a considerable chill. Such a ruling would create huge liability concerns for aggregators such as Progressive Bloggers, and anyone keeping any form of blogroll.

Arguments by Crookes have included the reasoning that it should be sufficient to link to a domain, not directly to the alleged libelous material, for dissemination to be argued. The reasoning is, it is similar to me handing you a book containing libel on a page, but not indicating which page, or whether there is any in there at all. In such a case, current law says I can still be held responsible for disseminating libel.

None of the claims of libel have been proven yet in court. I am a named defendant in another libel case brought by Crookes.

Not an April Fools Joke. Damn.


Canadian Press has this story with the hed:

Supreme Court to hear case of libellous links

Sloppy journalism. Since he started these up in 2005, Crookes has yet to have anything found to be libelous by any court. That should read "alleged libellous links."

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