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Defamation

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The Right to reputation is a universal right of every person. It is a jus in rem - a right that is good against all the world.

Many people in England believe that the law related to defamation has given too much protection to reputation and restriction on the freedom of speech.

  • A Libel is a wrong of defamation in written form. A Slander is a wrong of defamation in utterances / spoken form. In some cases, a wrong of defamation can arise in neither written or spoken form but because of an act.

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

  • Dixon vs Holden, (1869) LR 7 Eq 488: A man's reputation is his property, more valuable than any other property.
  • De Crespigny vs Weslleley, (1829) 5 Bing 392: The degree of suffering occasioned by loss of character far exceeds that of loss of property
  • Noor Mohd vs Mohd Jiauddin, 1991 MPLJ 503: Refusal of bridegroom and his father to take the bride to their home after a marriage in full gaze of guests is a tort of defamation and damages could be awarded for loss of reputation.

Defamation in cyberspace

  • Rosenblatt v Baer, 383 US 75 (1966)
  • Gertz v Robert Welch, Inc., 418 US 323 (1974)
  • New York Times v Sullivan, 376 US 254 (1964)
  • Curtis Publishing Co v Butts, 388 US 153 (1967)
  • Smith v California, 361 US 147 (1959)
  • Cards, Inc v Fuschetto, 535 NW 2d 11 / Wis. Ct. App. 1995
  • Cubby, Inc v CompuServe, Inc., 776 F.Supp. 135 (S D N Y 1991)
  • Staratton Oakmont, Inc. v Prodigy Services Company, 1995 NY Misc LEXIS 229, 1995 WL 323710 N Y Sup Ct (May 24, 1995)
  • Zeran v America Online, Inc., 129 F.2d. 237 (4th Cir 1997)
  • Sidney Blumenthal v Matt Drudge and America Online Inc., AOL) 992 F. Sup 44 (DDC April 22, 1998)

Related Legislation

Related Topics