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[Xtalk] Criminal Libel

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  • Tom Simms
    Our List Lawyers might comment on the Precedent Setting libel case reported in today s _National Post_ or The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 26, 1999
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      Our List Lawyers might comment on the

      "Precedent Setting libel case" reported in today's
      _National Post_ <www.nationalost.com> or <online@...>

      The case involves someone who said things on a Web that someone
      else objected to, getting the first person's LSP to close that
      account. The same person then got a foreign provider and repested
      the libel. The victim took the matter to the police.

      The article's last two paragraphs say,
      "Libel expert Rick Deardon, a lawyer with Gowling,
      Strathy and Henderson in Ottawa, said many people
      are under the impression you can say anything you
      want on the Internet without repercussions."

      "`This simply isn't the case,' he said. `I think
      more and more cases like this will pop up over the
      next while until people realize they can't just
      write anything they want with the intent of hurting
      people.'" Jake rupert, _Ottawa Citizen_

      Criminal libel doesn't have to be published, so I understand,
      so that words meant to hurt in private correspondence are an
      offense too, and when supportable, need only a visit to a police
      officer to complain.

      This case is the first in Canada of Criminal Libel prosecution
      of a matter on the Internet. As I understand, it is the same in
      all Common Law countries.

      Will some of our experts fill us in?

      Tom Simms


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