May 24, 2013 - Posted by Thomas Rose

Its been a week since the Toronto Star and Gawker went public with allegations concerning Mayor Rob  Ford mixing with self identified criminals and possibly smoking crack cocaine.  The mayor has denied the allegations dismissing them as part of a larger vendetta against him.  Given the seriousness of the allegations and the damage they are doing to the office of mayor as well as to Ford himself, why hasn't he filed a libel suit?  J-Source Law Editor Thomas Rose explains. 

May 02, 2013 - Posted by Thomas Rose

Brian Burke says anonymous bloggers have deliberately set out to ruin his good name.  As his defamation suit against those bloggers goes forward, perhaps it is time to begin a discussion about whether internet anonymity should be restricted, writes J-Source law editor Thomas Rose.

Mar 19, 2013 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

The Toronto Star and Transcontinental Media are getting push  back from Canadian writers’ organizations over new contracts that writers say removes copyright as well as moral rights from the creator. Toronto writer Paula Last reports. 

Oct 19, 2011 - Posted by Dean Jobb

Internet users who post hyperlinks to libellous material posted on other websites cannot be sued for repeating the libel, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled. The Oct. 19 ruling in Crookes v. Newton protects one of the most basic functions of the Internet -- the ability of users to share links to material posted online, even material they have not fully reviewed and they may not agree with. The court recognized that simply posting a link to material that may be libellous is a far cry from publishing or repeating the libel, let alone endorsing what has been said in the linked post.

Read the ruling in Crookes v.Newton, 2011 SCC 47.

Read the Globe and Mail report.

Read CBC senior legal counsel Daniel Henry’s analysis of the ruling.


Sep 13, 2011 - Posted by Dean Jobb

An Ontario judge has tossed a libel action against three political bloggers, arguing that web-based political discussions are forums for “the parry and thrust” of vigorous debate and participants whose reputations have been attacked should fight back with words, not legal action.

Sep 20, 2010 - Posted by Dean Jobb
NEWS – In what may be the first case of its kind involving comments posted to a Canadian media website, the Halifax weekly The Coast has been ordered to identify seven people who made allegedly defamatory statements tagged to a story about racism in the city’s fire department. As well, Google was ordered to identify the holder of a gmail account who circulated an email that could be defamatory. "The court doesn't condone the conduct of anonymous Internet users," a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ruled April 14. The Coast and Google did not oppose the motion to produce the information. Read the reports in The Globe and Mail and Halifax's Chroncile Herald.
Jul 23, 2009 - Posted by Dean Jobb
The Canadian Press has been fined $4,000 for contempt of court for breaching a publication ban imposed at a British Columbia murder trial last year. The wire service circulated a report that used the first name of an undercover RCMP officer whose identity was protected under a court-ordered ban. The CP reporter covering the case was aware of the ban but assumed the name used to identify the officer in court was a pseudonym; it turned out to be the officer's real name. The ruling will be of particular interest to online journalists, as the report appeared on only a handful of websites before CP realized its mistake, killed the story and apologized to the court. Read the Vancouver Sun report. Read the ruling.
Feb 11, 2009 - Posted by Dean Jobb
The Web 2.0 movement ushered in an interactive Internet and put power in the hands of the people, tapping the so-called wisdom of the crowds to change the world -- and to keep such a digital democracy in check. A decade later, as defamation lawsuits mount in response to an explosion of vicious attacks and anonymous gossip, some are questioning the wisdom of the crowds -- and wondering if it hasn't turned into mob rule. Deborah Gage reports in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dec 11, 2008 - Posted by Dean Jobb

An email containing "malicious gossip" has cost the sender $7,800 in an out-of-court settlement, even though it was directed to only one recepient. The case is a reminder to journalists to be careful not to make or repeat unfounded accusations when seeking information and conducting interviews by e-mail. Betsy Powell reported on the case in the Toronto Star.

Jul 28, 2008 - Posted by Dean Jobb
Britain's libel laws are outdated and a gift to the censorious and powerful, who use them to silence critics and, increasingly, to try to shut down websites and bloggers. The Internet and the global nature of publishing ensure "these medieval laws have become the most powerful extra-territorial legislation ever drafted." Author George Monboit, writing in The Guardian, says timid British politicians and compliant British journalists are to blame, but fears he'd be sued if he dared to name names.
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