In a landmark ruling, a Canadian court has ruled that a web site's publication of hyperlinks to an allegedly defamatory web site is not in and of itself a 'publication', and therefore cannot in and of itself constitute defamation. In a 10-page decision (PDF), Crookes v. Wikimedia, Sup. Ct., British Columbia, Judge Kelleher dismissed the libel case against Jon Newton, the publisher of p2pnet.net, which was based on the fact that his article contained links to the allegedly defamatory site, since hyperlinks, the Court reasoned, are analogous to footnotes, rather than constituting a 'republication'. Mr. Newton was represented in the case by famous libel, slander, and civil liberties lawyer Dan Burnett of Vancouver, British Columbia.
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