December 10, 2002
Dow Jones Can Be Sued in Australia for Internet Publishing

The BBC reports Australia's high court ruled (decision) that Dow Jones, publisher of Barrons in the U.S., can be sued in Victoria by mining magnate Joseph Gutnick for defamation of character. "It is thought to be the first such decision in the high court of any country to consider the question of jurisdiction and the internet."

Specifically, the Australian decision allows for publishers from any location to be sued in Australia, if the publication is available there, even if the plaintiff is not a resident of Australia. Although the court said that, "In all except the most unusual of cases, identifying the person about whom material is to be published will readily identify the defamation law to which that person resorts." That seems to mean Internet publishing will include investigating local law, wherever story subjects reside or do business, just because there is Internet access there.

News.com and Australian IT, as well as LawMeme comment on the story.

Posted by Mary Hodder at December 10, 2002 06:34 AM
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