MSNBC reports that the California Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that bloggers cannot be sued for libel for printing the words of others. This protection covers ISP’s and users of their services, including bloggers and bulletin board posters.
The Court said: “Subjecting Internet service providers and users to defamation liability would tend to chill online speech”.
The case does not address the matter of suing bloggers for words they have themselves written.
The court also said while the ruling may have some “some troubling consequences”, that “Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area” people who contend they were defamed on the Internet can seek recovery only from the original source of the statement, not from those who re-post it.”