All posts in Online intermediaries

Social Media and the Law seminar

Back in April of this year, Andrew Scott-Howman (specialist employment law barrister with Port Nicholson Chambers and co-author of Workface) and I delivered a New Zealand Law Society seminar series on Social Media and the Law.

We discussed three main topics: I discussed “your and your clients’ use of social media for business purposes: a lifecycle approach”, Andrew then discussed “employer and employee use of social media: an employment law perspective”, and I then discussed “third party use of social media against organisations and staff: legal and practical remedies” (also touching on “reform and the future” at the end). Read more…

A few days ago the NBR reported that a medical professional is seeking summary judgment against Google in the High Court over defamatory links that appeared and, given the content’s changing URLs, continue to appear in Google search results.

According to the NBR, the plaintiff’s lawyer has said the case raises two novel issues:

  • whether Google’s search engine is a “publisher” for the purposes of the law of defamation; and
  • whether (if it is a publisher) the innocent dissemination defence could apply so as to afford Google a defence.

This is a fascinating case because these issues have not been squarely considered yet by a New Zealand court. According to the NBR article, the case has been heard but Justice Abbott has reserved his decision, meaning we await His Honour’s judgment.

To understand the case and how the Court might decide it, it helps to understand the core elements of defamation and the innocent dissemination defence referred to above. Read more…

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