MASSACHUSETTS — A former Harvard University employee named the school’s student newspaper in a federal lawsuit filed July 20, accusing The Harvard Crimson of defamation and libel over coverage of his nude play about circumcision. Eric Clopper, who worked as a systems administrator at the university, filed suit against Harvard, The Crimson, a Harvard governing… Continue reading Former Harvard employee files rare lawsuit against student newspaper
Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties or libelous statements contributors make, such as in guest columns?A: In print or broadcast media, yes. If you publish it, you are taking ownership of it, regardless… Continue reading Is my publication responsible for libelous quotes from third parties?
Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: What is libel? A: Libel is the publication of false statements of fact that seriously harm a person’s reputation. If a statement is true, it cannot be libelous, no matter how harmful it may be to the person’s… Continue reading What is libel?
Q: A professor recently committed suicide at my school. Rumors abound that he had been caught up in a financial scandal, but he’s obviously no longer around to interview. Is it possible to libel a dead person? A: No. While a person’s estate can continue to pursue a libel claim filed by a person before his… Continue reading Can you libel a dead person?
Q: Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit? A: Including the phrase “in my opinion” — for example, “In my opinion, the coach is a cheater” — does not create an automatic shield to libel. Neither does simply reprinting what someone else has said by saying something like, “‘The coach is a… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Does including “in my opinion” protect me from a libel or defamation suit?
Two former "American Idol" contestants waited too long to file their defamation suit against the parent company of MTV and VH1, a federal appeals court decides. The ruling is the latest to apply the "single publication rule" to an article continuously available on a news website. The decision should be reassuring to online publishers -- but with some important cautions.
The Washington Court of Appeals heard arguments in a libel suit against the student newspaper at Roosevelt High School on Monday, a case raising the issue of a school district’s liability for stories written by student journalists.Landlord Hugh Sisley brought the lawsuit against the Seattle School District after The Roosevelt News published a story in 2009 claiming Sisley had “been accused of racist renting policies.” Sisley and his wife deny those allegations and claim the story defamed them.Superior Court Judge Kimberly Prochnau sided with the school district last year, finding both that the story was not libelous and also that the school could not be held liable for the work of student journalists who are not the school's agents or employees.On appeal, the Sisleys are challenging both of those findings and want the case to go forward to a trial.A three-judge panel of the appeals court heard oral arguments in the case Monday morning, appearing skeptical of arguments from both sides.School district attorney Jeff Freimund faced questions on the school’s liability for newspaper content, while the Sisleys’ attorney, Jeff Grant, was questioned on whether the story itself could be libelous.In legal briefs, the school district argues that it can’t be held liable for the story because the First Amendment prohibited school officials from censoring it.
As a professor of comparative literature, Cornell University's Walter Cohen undoubtedly has read some pretty racy texts in his time.
Colorado has repealed its criminal libel law, under which a person who questioned someone's "honesty, integrity, virtue or reputation" could be sent to prison.Gov.