View Full Version : Internet Publishing Laws

12-09-2002, 04:21 AM
"It centres on a defamation case in which Australian mining magnate Joe Gutnick has taken action against the United States-based Dow Jones wire service for an article on a web site hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

The Victorian Supreme Court ruled that Mr Gutnick had the right to have the case decided in Melbourne, where Mr Gutnick claims his reputation was damaged.

But Dow Jones took the decision to the High Court, claiming the case should be heard in the US because the article was put on the internet in the US.

The dispute means the High Court will rule on whether material available on the internet is published in the country of origin, or the place where the information is viewed by people using the internet.

"It would provide unlimited liability for people who publish on the net, yet they could never know where material will be accessed," Internet Industry Association chief executive Mr Coroneos said.

"You won't know your liability, and therefore you can't protect against it."

He said the ruling would have an impact mostly on global companies, who could be sued in Australia for material placed on the internet overseas. "
News Service article

[Remembering it is different when something causes you 'financial damage', not just hurts your feelings.]

Where do general laws apply, at the sites origin or at the place it is available?

Niether or both?

Can you enforce the law either way?

12-09-2002, 04:27 AM
Where it is accessed, IMO, but thats not really possible. It shouldn't be where it originated from for sure, but what do you do? Im stumped :confused:

12-09-2002, 02:19 PM
Content published onto the Internet should be under the jurisdiction of the locations (A) where the author published the material and (B) where the server is located. It would be absurd for content to be considered "published" in the jurisdiction of the viewer. Using an analogy, this would be like considering the jurisdiction where a book is read the juridiction where that book is published--which is utter nonsense.

Considering the jurisdiction of the viewer of Internet material the jurisdiction of content publishing makes it impossible for the author to mitigate liability because of the practical inability of determining the laws in every place the content may be viewed. For example, no one would likely claim that Saddam Hussein can expect compensation for material created by a U.S. media company and available on their public website, which defames him according to Iraqi laws because it was "published" in Iraq.