Friday, October 21, 2011

Ezra Levant & Alan Shanoff On The SCC's Crookes v. Newton Hyperlink Libel Decision

Good news for FREEDOM! Hyper-linking on Internet is NOT Libel

The Supreme Court of Canada released a ruling in the case of Crookes v. Newton, 2011 SCC 47, which clarifies the law that hyper-linking to an article on the internet is not defamation. This is a good sign from the Supreme Court of Canada that they are taking freedom of speech seriously and as a bed-rock right to Canadian values.

From the SCC ruling:

[36]                          The Internet cannot, in short, provide access to information without hyperlinks.  Limiting their usefulness by subjecting them to the traditional publication rule would have the effect of seriously restricting the flow of information and, as a result, freedom of expression.  The potential “chill” in how the Internet functions could be devastating, since primary article authors would unlikely want to risk liability for linking to another article over whose changeable content they have no control.  Given the core significance of the role of hyperlinking to the Internet, we risk impairing its whole functioning.  Strict application of the publication rule in these circumstances would be like trying to fit a square archaic peg into the hexagonal hole of modernity.