People who claim they have been defamed online can go after the person who originally wrote the defamation article online but cannot chase the website (publisher or distributor) where it was published through the courts, whether the website is a company or individual – so says a unanimous Supreme Court verdict out in California.
We acknowledge that recognizing broad immunity for defamatory republications on the Internet has some troubling consequences. Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area, however, plaintiffs who contend they were defamed in an Internet posting may only seek recovery from the original source of the statement.
Interesting for strong community based sites, no? Provided they’re not intentionally publishing comments that they KNOW are defamatory.
Update: More here at Dane Carlson’s blog