Lawsuits Put Online Free Speech At Risk

Michael Geist's weekly law bytes deals with the Wayne Crooks defamation cases. (Toronto Star version, Homepage version)

Despite garnering only limited media attention, two recently filed defamation lawsuits in British Columbia have the potential to reshape free speech on the Internet in Canada. The suits pit Wayne Crookes, a B.C.-based businessman, against a who's who of the Internet, including Yahoo!, MySpace and Wikipedia. Those companies are accused of defaming Crookes not by virtue of anything they have said, but rather by permitting their users to post or link to articles that are allegedly defamatory.

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