Sticks ‘n’ stones

Sticks ‘n’ stones
: Xeni Jardin reports in Wired that First Amendment protections have been extended to bloggers:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday that Web loggers, website operators and e-mail list editors can’t be held responsible for libel for information they republish, extending crucial First Amendment protections to do-it-yourself online publishers.

Online free speech advocates praised the decision as a victory. The ruling effectively differentiates conventional news media, which can be sued relatively easily for libel, from certain forms of online communication such as moderated e-mail lists. One implication is that DIY publishers like bloggers cannot be sued as easily.

“One-way news publications have editors and fact-checkers, and they’re not just selling information — they’re selling reliability,” said Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “But on blogs or e-mail lists, people aren’t necessarily selling anything, they’re just engaging in speech. That freedom of speech wouldn’t exist if you were held liable for every piece of information you cut, paste and forward.”

I wish Reynolds weren’t on vacation so he could comment on this. [via Anil]

  • http://www.bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    If Reynolds were to comment, would he say: “Read the whole thing” or “indeed”?
    I’m really torn on this question.
    BTW, Gillmor’s pushing back.
    Defend your honor.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Dan doesn’t allow comments!

  • http://anildash.com/ Anil

    Richard, let’s be fair. Glenn may very well have said “heh” in response to Xeni’s piece.
    And regarding Dan’s site, I think the lack of comments is the call of his paper, not him personally.

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    I have to admit: I agree with Anil. Glenn would have said “heh.” :-)