Terrific, informative article from globeandmail.com,:
This article has some interesting points that help to really highlight how blogging in Canada differs from blogging in the U.S.:
Earlier this week, Steelback Brewery president Frank D’Angelo filed a $2-million libel suit against Ottawa-based blogger Neate Sager for making what he says are disparaging comments about him.
In another recent case, Montreal art-gallery owner Chris (Zeke) Hand has found himself on the receiving end of a lawsuit as a result of something he wrote on the blog he maintains for Zeke’s Gallery.
Warren Kinsella, a prominent blogger and newspaper columnist, sued another blogger for libel last year, but settled the case after the blogger apologized for his remarks and paid Kinsella’s legal costs.
And p2pnet, a British Columbia-based news site that writes about file-sharing, is still fighting a libel lawsuit launched by Kazaa tycoon Nikki Hemming based on comments that were posted on an article about the company.
University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist says Canadian bloggers need to be aware that by effectively becoming publishers, they are subject to the laws on defamation and libel.
Those laws “apply online as well as off-line,” he says. “Just because bloggers have the ability to write whatever they want doesn’t give them licence to defame anyone.”
Geist says there are likely to be more lawsuits against bloggers as blogs become more mainstream.
“It certainly feels like we’re seeing more of these cases, and it probably reflects the fact that there are more people blogging,” he says. “And at the same time, people are increasingly realizing that blogs have an impact and that more people are reading them.”
Geist says he is also concerned that suits are increasingly being filed not just because of what a blogger says in a post, but because of what is said in comments by visitors to blogs.
While third parties are protected from such suits in the United States by the Communications Decency Act, Canada has no such protection, he says, and that raises “a significant threat of ‘libel chill.'”
Canadian bloggers should read the full article to get a sense of the state of the current law.
Posted June 20, 2007, 11:30 pm.