Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project. The DMLP was a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2007 to 2014. Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated. Please check any information you find here for accuracy and completeness.
One of the first things I learned as a journalist, and later again as a media lawyer, was that under the First Amendment the "truth" could not be subject to a viable defamation claim. True statements are simply constitutionally immune and plaintiffs cannot sidestep all of the common law and constitutional protections for true speech through creative pleadings that would merely re-label defamation as another cause of action.
I've been writing about impending British libel reform for almost two years now, putting a post together every time something happens to bring the United Kingdom closer to fixing its quite-literally-backwards defamation laws. "Ooo, the High Court has tossed a textbook libel tourism case," I cheered in November 2009. "Aah, the justice minister has publicly endorsed libel reform," I
Snyder accuses the WCP of spreading "lies, half-truths, innuendo, and anti-Semitic imagery" to defame him, seeking $2 million in damages. The amount is split between two claims, the first for defamation and the second for false light. The "anti-semitic imagery" he complains of is a crude addition of horns, a unibrow and Anton LaVey-esque goatee to Snyder's photograph in the WCP, which can be seen here.
The High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School are pleased to announce a new annual works-in-progress series for Internet Law scholarship. The inaugural event will be held at Santa Clara University on March 5, 2011. Thereafter, the event will rotate between NYLS and SCU each Spring semester.
CMLP received an email from a novelist asking us how far she can take
the advice, "write what you know." Would she risk being sued for libel
if she based a character in her fictional work on a person she knows and
dislikes in real life? Could she be held accountable if her
fictional work were actually semi-autobiographical and described not
only her own real-life actions, but also those taken by others?
A North Carolina trial court recently ordered the editor of the local community blog Home in Henderson to turn over the names and addresses of six pseudonymous commenters who allegedly defamed former Vance County commissioner Thomas S. Hester, Jr.
We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.