A U.S. District Court has ruled that one who maintains a blog cannot be sued for libel based on an anonymous defamatory posting on his blog. Of course, this is good news for people like me who maintain a blog. (However, the focus of this blog–casenotes on decisions of the Delaware Chancery Court and Delaware Supreme Court–does not lend itself to many opportunities for defamation.)
The case, DiMeo v. Max, involved an ongoing series of rude, obnoxious and arguably defamatory postings about an unsuccessful party organized by the principal of a PR firm.
Judge Stewart Dalzell, in Philadelphia, determined that Congress enacted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act for two reasons — to “promote the free exchange of information and ideas over the Internet,” and to “encourage service providers to self-regulate the dissemination of offensive material over their services.” Dalzell concluded that the purpose of Section 230 was to provide immunity from libel suits for Internet providers — including bloggers. The federal statute was in response to an earlier decision that found liability based on the ability of an Internet provider to select and edit which postings to publish. The CDA, however, “overrides the traditional treatment of publishers under statutory and common law.”
Law.com provides the story at the following link:
Law.com – Libel Laws Don’t Prevent Blog ‘Mockery’