I'm inclined to agree with the consultation's argument here, rather than the Court of Appeal's. (link)


Seems like a reasonable suggestion to me… (link)


A sound ruling, I would suggest.

I'd further suggest that modifications to the same page that don't affect the content are similarly irrelevant and should not be considered a new publication. (link)


Personally, I don't have any objection to the multiple publication rule, provided there is a sensible extension of qualified privilege. Certainly, I can see the rationale for it — repeating a libel or a slander should not be without consequence, but publishers should not be exposed to liability for every click, by any stretch of the imagination. (link)


I don't see why not. (link)


I'm not convinced. Publication of a new book repeating old claims is fundamentally different from creating an online copy of a hard-copy publication — either shortly after the original publication or as a general digitisation of old hard-copy media — or an archive copy of an online publication.

Should the addition of an disclaimer on plaintiff request be considered a defence? (link)


Within reason, I don't see why not (link)


If it can be proven that the publisher of the new article is aware of the original suit, perhaps. But the plaintiff should be required to notify the new publisher and provide them with an opportunity to seek legal advice. (link)


Codify the PCC guidelines and apply them more generally. (link)


See my comments above, against paragraph 23 (link)


Only if the content itself has been substantially modified or if extraordinary attention has been drawn to the contentious content by the site owner.

Certainly, now that user-generated content is so prevalent on the Internet, it should not be expected that website owners are perpetually aware of all content on their sites or how users are drawing attention to it. (link)



Online archives are the current equivalent of microfiche copies of newspapers. Most media organs, for example, publish online and leave the page there in perpetuity. The act of publication happens only once — when the article leaves the copy desk and is submitted to the website. Repeated visits to the website are no different from someone picking up a copy of yesterday's newspaper on a train or looking at an archive copy of The Times in a library; neither of which would be considered a new publication of the article in print media. (link)


Pedantic remark: the paragraph as stated is false. The Defamation Act 1952 ( modifies the way in which some of the defences below operate. That's all. It doesn't contain defences and not all the defences listed are in the Act.

This isn't a big deal, it just suggests that whoever wrote this summary was not a specialist in the field (maybe they were working from a summary of some kind). I'd advise treating this whole summary with due caution as a rather sloppy explanation of the law. (link)


Back to source document.