Defamation Hotlinks: 1/26/09-1/30/09

I thought I’d mix it up this week with the defamation hotlinks.  Enjoy.

  1. NYC Vegetarian Sues, Says Boss Called Him ‘Homo‘ – This story came to me via twitter from Eric Goldman and is interesting because the claimant isn’t suing for defamation–he is suing for wrongful termination among other claims.  Was it a mistake not to sue for defamation? Probably not.  The term ‘Homo’ is unlikely to be considered a false statement of fact.  Instead it would be an epithet/opinion which is unlikely to be actionable.
  2. Broadcast Angers Muslins – Greg Kruppa, of The Detroit News reports that some Muslims became upset when a Coptic priest made some particularly disparaging remarks about the prophet Muhammad. I mention this story to point out two things: (1) defamation is a personal right. This means an estate cannot bring an action for defamation on behalf of of a deceased loved one; and (2) while I sympathize with Muslims for any remarks that are disparaging of their religion, California law (U.S. law as well) does not recognize defamation of religion, nor should it.  Enacting laws that would permit defamation of religion to be actionable would make the State the arbiter of religion, which is unacceptable and dangerous.
  3. Defamation and False Light here in Utah – This link is totally self-indulgent and only included because I love Mark E. Towner’s tagline: "The Cap’n be using his spyglass to search out those scalawag political bilge rats and givm a broadside when they need to be exposed for their skulduggery."

 

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