Can posting a link to someone else's website constitute defamation?

Yikes! … le1520575/

Can posting a link to someone else’s website constitute defamation?

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the case of a former Green Party campaign manager who says it does.

An Internet law specialist says it’s an important case that everyone involved in the web will be watching closely.

The top court on Thursday granted Wayne Crookes leave to appeal a British Columbia ruling which went against him in 2008.

He had argued that when a Canadian website posted links to two U.S. websites that featured defamatory statements, it was the same as publishing defamatory material itself.

The website did not reproduce any of the disputed material, nor did it make any comment.

Justice Stephen Kelleher of the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying the links were like a footnote or a reference to a website in a newsletter.


Google Wayne Crookes for further info.  Very enlightening.

This is silly.  It would mean no more Google or linking in Canada.  Basically all web activity would just move out of the country.

Guess we had all best convert our loonies and twonies to rubles just in case we need the services of your Russian aquaintance. :smiley:

It’s only to be expected with things like metallica enforcing law suits against napster and China blocking google,  soon everything will be copyright enfringment  and the world wide web will be no more,  for free anyways well have to pay to use anything and everything … It’s only a matter of time enjoy it while you can because nothing is for free in this lifetime.

it started with torrents and this is unfortunately just a logical extension of that. Not saying I agree but thats just how she goes.

No, seriously, Google the guy’s name.  I’d rather Google bear the brunt of his anger than the new HTMF owners :smile:

He’s already lost his case in the BC Courts.  He’s just appealing it.  

Here’s Michael Geist’s brief post on the guy, with some links:

“In other words, I’m reportedly being sued for maintaining a blogroll that links to a site that links to a site that contains some allegedly defamatory third party comments.”

I don’t think the guy understands how the World Wide Web works.  Fortunately, the BC Court did.

his last name is ironically appropriate.

If the angle he’s trying to play is that a hyperlink constitutes “publishing”, wouldn’t he have better luck going after ISPs? They’re the ones transmitting the potentially defaming information.

Analogy: A link is only giving you the title of a book. The ISP is reading the book to you.

Anyhow, I’m just saying that if I was going to be one of those “launch lawsuits against everybody and their dog and hope for a win or a settlement” kind of guys, that’s the avenue I’d be taking on this one.

Why not go for the big guns and sue microsoft/apple for enabling them to post them to post the ‘defamatory’ information?