New York: Republication of Libel is not Libel

A New York Court has held that if an online publisher re-publishes a defamatory statement, that does not make the republisher liable for defamation — with the caveat that the republisher relies on a reputable source.

“A re-publisher of a work may rely on the research of the original publisher, absent proof that the re-publisher had or should have had substantial reasons to question either the accuracy of the article or the good faith of the reporter.” (source)

I have not seen the complete decision yet, so I am relying on Courthouse News Service for this information. But, according to this decision, I should be able to do that. Courthouse News Service is a reliable source.

4 Responses to New York: Republication of Libel is not Libel

  1. dan says:

    this blog is a reliable source, So i should be able to do the same, right?

  2. I’m not sure.

    I would like to think that my blog is a “reliable” source. But, that seems to be an issue of fact. If I publish a factual story, which turns out to actually be defamatory, and you re-publish it and get sued, the court will ask “should Dan have considered the Legal Satyricon to be a reliable source?”

    The plaintiff would bring in all of my hyperbolic posts, some of the crazy shit you find on here, and would argue that Dan should have known that my blog was unreliable. The defendant would argue that as a member of five bars, a well-known attorney and an authority on certain issues, that I should be considered reliable.

    No idea how the trier of fact would resolve those competing arguments.

  3. Jason says:

    This should conclusively resolve the Rakofsky matter, right? (Not that there was ever any doubt about it.)

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