US Court begs to differ on location of Web-libel liability
Just as I expected. NEWS.COM story:
“Less than a week after Australia’s high court issued a ruling suggesting that online publishers are fair game for libel suits anywhere their content appears, a U.S. federal court has veered in the opposite direction.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said two Connecticut newspapers could not be sued for libel in a Virginia court on the basis of allegedly defamatory articles posted on their Web sites. ” The key question was whether the newspapers intended “to direct their Web site content, which included certain articles discussing conditions in a Virginia prison, to a Virginia audience,” and concluded the answer was definitely no. Instead of targeting Virginians, the court ruled, the papers’ Web sites were designed to be useful to residents of Connecticut, with information about weather and state politics, and local classified ads.
“The facts in this case establish that the newspapers’ Web sites, as well as the articles in question, were aimed at a Connecticut audience. The newspapers did not post materials on the Internet with the manifest intent of targeting Virginia readers,” the court said.