Internet defamation

It greatly concerns me to see the NZ High Court agree with an Australian court that defamation laws apply not just in the country of publication but the country of readership.

This has huge implications for speech on the Internet. It means that the NZ Courts believe every single statement on the Internet is subject to NZ defamation law. Using this logic, one then concludes that anything published on the Internet has to comply with the laws of every single country on Earth.

So be aware that if you write something on your NZ blog which breaks the law in Thailand, or Germany or France, someone may sue you in a foreign court and cite the NZ High Court as precedent for why they should be able to sue you.

Of course one can simply never visit any country which finds you guilty of defamation, but that is not the point which is the stupidity of forcing all Internet publishers to know the laws of every country on Earth.

Comments (4)

Login to comment or vote

%d bloggers like this: