The Law of Defamation
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5 March 2009
the Internet growing larger and having become the market place to the
world the issue of Defamation has never been more topical.
seems that for every business (no matter how efficient or consumer
friendly) there is a website, blog site or forum which has somewhat
unpleasant postings regarding the services of that business.
is common practice now for a consumer to 'Google' your company name
before it engages its services. In a world where 'feedback' and
'review' are ever present it can be seriously damaging if a customer
writes negative comments about you. They are after all there for the
world to see.
So what can you do about them? If the
statements are true (i.e. you did deliver late; your customer service
assistance was not helpful etc) then there is little you can do. The
most common and effective defence to a defamation claim is simply 'but
However if the postings are not true or
certainly not justified then there is something you can do.
obvious first step would be to write to the individual that posted the
material. However this is not always effective as they are hard to
trace or will often ignore your correspondence. Therefore the most
effective mechanism is to put the Internet Service Provider on notice
of the defamatory material and insist that unless removed, the ISP will
be held liable for the content.
In order to be successful in this it is
important to tick all of the boxes:
the comments are defamatory (see below); b) you are identified in the
statements and c) the statements have been published to a third party.
A Defamatory statement is one that lowers
the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.
The ISP will usually remove the postings
Tsigarides is a Solicitor who specialises in Internet Law and
Intellectual Property Law (trade marks, copyright, design law).
About the Author
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-08 15:33:09 in Legal Articles