Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Message, Not the Medium: Defamation, Publication and the Internet in Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 263-280, 2002

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/48

17 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007  

David Rolph

The University of Sydney Law School

Abstract

The challenges posed by internet defamation have been the subject of few decisions by ultimate appellate courts. One of the few, and the first, was the High Court of Australia's decision in Dow Jones & Co. Inc. v Gutnick (2002) 210 CLR 575. This article canvasses the issues central to the appeal: the meaning of the term, 'publication', in defamation law; the place of publication; the power to exercise jurisdiction over a matter and the discretionary non-exercise of jurisdiction; the impact of the unique characteristics of the internet and the desirability of technology-specific rules and principles; and other policy considerations surrounding this vexed area of law, such as the impact of globalisation; the need for certainty; freedom of expression; the need to give due recognition to foreign legal systems; the legitimate interests of plaintiffs and defendants; and the existing, practical solutions to problems posed by multistate defamation.

Keywords: Defamation, Private international law, Internet; Publication, Jurisdiction, Forum non conveniens, Dow Jones v Gutnick, Globalisation, Freedom of expression

JEL Classification: K10, K33, K41

Suggested Citation

Rolph, David, The Message, Not the Medium: Defamation, Publication and the Internet in Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick. ; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/48. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000090

David Rolph (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Paper statistics

Downloads
330
Rank
75,870
Abstract Views
2,160