View Full Version : Aussie Can Sue Over Online Story

11-10-2006, 06:13 AM

SYDNEY, Australia -- In a landmark case, Australia's highest court on Tuesday gave a businessman the right to sue for defamation in Australia over an article published in the United States and posted on the Internet.

Analysts suggest the ruling against international news service Dow Jones, the first by a nation's top court to deal with cross-border Internet defamation, could set a precedent and affect publishers and websites that post articles in the 190 nations that allow defamation cases.

Interesting. If you publish on the web, you might be sued in any country where people can access the story.

The story's about an Australian, Joe Gutnick -- he's bringing suit in Victoria because that's where people know him, even though the article was written for a US market.

11-10-2006, 08:16 AM
Gutnick claimed that a 7,000-word article that had appeared in Barron's in October 2000 portrayed him as a schemer given to stock scams, money laundering and fraud.

But I thought you could only sue for defamation if what was said wasn't true.

Oh darn. I think I opened myself up to a lawsuit. :)

11-10-2006, 09:20 AM
Yes, I read about this case when I was writing in the area of law and when the case first came to light. Apparently, it is being watched very carefully by defamation lawyers on both continents, and the legal profession in general. I believe that in the background there has been quite a bit of tussle about it - as you would expect.