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20. In these circumstances, a claimant may be further disadvantaged as there would no longer be any incentive on the host of defamatory material to remove or amend it, since there would be no risk of an action being brought against them. Currently, the failure to remove the material or attach a notice to it once the host became aware of it or its potentially defamatory nature would effectively lead to a new cause of action in respect of each ‘publication’12. This would cease to be the case should a single publication rule be adopted. One possible way of addressing this could be to provide that if material were found to be defamatory in one format (e.g. the print edition of a newspaper) then it would be obligatory for the material to be amended or removed where it was held in other formats under the control of the same publisher. Another option might be to provide that, where material is re-transmitted in a new format (i.e. a new article is written making use of a link to or a quotation from the original material) then any single publication rule would only protect the previous publisher and would not protect the publisher of the new article.

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Seems like a reasonable suggestion to me…

Posted by Owen Blacker on 2009-10-03 23:09:56.
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