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3. The effect of the multiple publication rule in relation to online material is that each “hit” on a webpage creates a new publication, potentially giving rise to a separate cause of action, should it contain defamatory material. Each cause of action has its own limitation period that runs from the time at which the material is accessed. As a result, publishers are potentially liable for any defamatory material published by them and accessed via their online archive, however long after the initial publication the material is accessed, and whether or not proceedings have already been brought in relation to the initial publication.

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