SCC rules Internet links not libel

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that hyperlinking to defamatory materials does not constitute a form of libel. The court ruled against former Green party campaign manager Wayne Crookes, who argued that posting links to sites with defamatory statements was the same as publishing the libelous material.

The ruling states, "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."

Newspapers Canada acted as an intervener on the case on behalf of our members and the newspaper industry.

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