Paraphrasing the words of technorati’s Matt:
“55 Million blogs…some of them may just be libelous.”
Courts are being asked to crack down on bloggers and websites, reads a USA Today article. In a legal first, David Milum became the first blogger in the United States to lose a libel suit. The libel case stemmed from an article posted by Milum in a blog, accusing his former lawyer of bribing judges on behalf of drug dealers. The article reads in part:
The case reflected how blogs â€” short for web logs, the burgeoning, freewheeling Internet forums that give people the power to instantly disseminate messages worldwide â€” increasingly are being targeted by those who feel harmed by blog attacks. In the past two years, more than 50 lawsuits stemming from postings on blogs and website message boards have been filed across the nation. The suits have spawned a debate over how the “blogosphere” and its revolutionary impact on speech and publishing might change libel law.
What’s surprising is not the fact that bloggers are being sued for libel, as the philippines already has a pending test case (another Philippine legal first is the temporary restraining order issued by a Quezon City court against the PCIJ). The more surprising fact is the increasing number of cases filed against bloggers. This is shown in Media Law Resource Center’s updated list of libel and related lawsuits against bloggers and websites in the United States. Although this is surprising, it’s expected with the exponential growth of blogging.
Let’s revisit libel some other time.