Martin Stabe points to another legal story that is getting too little coverage here, with links to a news story and a FindLaw analysis about a New York court refusing to protect an American author from a UK “libel tourism” judgment over a book that sold a mere 23 copies in England.
What’s profoundly frightening about this is that we in America could find ourselves subject to the UK’s libel and privacy laws, which throw free speech to the wolves in defense of privacy.
In other words, thanks to the internet, we could be subject to the lowest-common-denominator of protection of speech against libel actions.
One could imagine it would get even worse: Couldn’t we be subject to Islamic theocracies’ prohibitions against criticizing Muhammad or dictators’ laws against criticizing them. If other legal systems can reach out to us and our speech here then corporations — publishers, networks, service providers — chilling us.