::.law + strategy.::.law + governance.::.law + politics.::. ::.you get the jist.::
I was browsing through my news feeds and came across this rather disturbing piece.
I don’t know the law in India. Though it sounds somewhat ludicrous by Canadian standards (a billion dollars?! For defamation of a scholarly press?!), there may or may not be something to the claim in India, thanks to the legislation they cite and the way in which any associated jurisprudence deals with the sections to which they allude.
But, it also speaks to a larger issue: defamation on the Internet.
The competing interests at stake are the right of the individual to not have his or her reputation falsely sullied, versus the right of the commentator to freedom of speech.
There’s also the whole consumer protection angle–surely if a service provider is not competent, someone who lost money or incurred damages as a result has a right to speak out and warn others? But by the same token, surely a malicious person doesn’t have the right to post awful things that might hurt the business of a perfectly good service provider, undermining a reputation that provider has worked so hard to build? And then, there is the grey area between the extremes–that whole tricky, murky territory arising out of the subjectivity of opinion and perspective.
Frankly, there are no easy answers.
I will be writing a piece about defamation for our firm’s newsletter, in which I will be exploring the issues in greater depth, so stay tuned! Once it comes out, I’ll post a link to it here, so those interested can check it out!